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Jaishankar calls on PMs of Mauritius, Bhutan, Nepal

During his meeting with Bhutan PM Tshering Tobgay, Jaishankar spoke about the “unique and multifaceted friendship” between the two nations…reports Asian Lite News

Union Minister S Jaishankar on Monday called upon Prime Ministers of Bhutan, Nepal, and Mauritius and Seychelles Vice President, who had attended the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

After meeting Seychelles Vice President Ahmed Afif, Jaishankar said he looked forward to strengthening ties between the two nations.

In a post on X, Jaishankar stated, “Good to meet Vice President Ahmed Afif of Seychelles. Look forward to further strengthening our long-standing partnership.”

During his meeting with Bhutan PM Tshering Tobgay, Jaishankar spoke about the “unique and multifaceted friendship” between the two nations.

Sharing details regarding the meeting, Jaishankar in a post on X stated, “Great to meet PM Tshering Tobgay of Bhutan. Spoke about our unique and multifaceted friendship.”

Jaishankar called upon Nepal PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and discussed the growing facets of cooperation between the two nations.

“So glad to call on PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ of Nepal. Discussed the growing various facets of India-Nepal cooperation,” Jaishankar posted on X.

Jaishankar also called upon Mauritius PM Pravind Jugnauth. Mentioning details regarding his meeting, Jaishankar in a post on X stated, “Pleased to call on PM Pravind Jugnauth of Mauritius. Our conversation reflected the special India-Mauritius bond.”

Earlier in the day, Union Minister S Jaishankar called upon heads of states of Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Bangladesh who had attended the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After calling on Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu, Jaishankar stated that he looks forward to seeing New Delhi and Male work together.

“Delighted to call on President Dr Mohamed Muizzu of Maldives today in New Delhi. Look forward to India and Maldives working together closely,” Jaishankar posted on X.

In another post on the X platform, Jaishankar after calling upon Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, “Honoured to call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh today. The India-Bangladesh Maitri continues to advance.”

Jaishankar, who served as the External Affairs Minister in the previous cabinet of Prime Minister Modi called upon Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

“Appreciate President Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka for receiving me this morning in New Delhi. Recognised the steady progress in India-Sri Lanka relations,” Jaishankar posted on X. (ANI)

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Pride Parade in Kathmandu demanding equality

Nepal’s marginalized sexual minorities are demanding citizenship with “Others” as their gender, but legal ambiguities are obstructing their efforts….reports Asian Lite News

Celebrating the month of June as the month of pride, sexual minorities in Nepal held a parade through the capital painting the roads with rainbow-coloured flags and slogans demanding equality both by the state as well as the society.

Hundreds of members of marginalized sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics (PoMSOGIESC) annually organize the parade on the second Saturday of June. Since its inception, the demand for equality and equal treatment has always been raised.

Nepal’s marginalized sexual minorities have been demanding citizenship stating “Others” as their gender but the provisional ambiguity in the citizenship law has been creating a major hurdle for the group to obtain citizenship.

The existing administrative provisions still demand sexual minorities to produce medical certificates or clearance from certified doctors to ascertain their sexual orientation. This year, the participants of the parade chanted slogans, demanding equal treatment and access to fundamental rights and the right to citizenship.

Speaking to ANI, Tika Ram Bhusal, a Participant at the Pride Parade in Nepal said, “The state should not ask us to obtain any medical document to ascertain our sexual orientation, I request the government to facilitate the (citizenship) acquirement process so that we can get it easily. The state, society and the nation as a whole should pay attention towards our issue and we want this issue to be resolved as early as possible.”

During the parade, Tika Ram Bhusal designed his dress resonating with the pride flag with face paint.

Nepal has been marking a parade for people of Queer Youth Group – a youth-led queer organization in collaboration with Queer Rights Collective an informal collective of queer folks and Campaign for Change, an intersex rights organization has been organizing the annual celebration.

On Saturday, the group marched from Ratnapark to Narayan Chaur chanting slogans and holding placards. The group has been demanding their recognition and fighting for its identity which has been their first and foremost thing.

Moreover, they have been demanding formal legalization of same-sex marriage and the issue of adoption of children. The newly promulgated constitution of Nepal in September 2015 has special provisions for sexual minorities but the group has been demanding its complete implementation.

Though the Himalayan nation back in November 2023 temporarily registered the marriage of a same-sex couple, following the interim order from the Supreme Court issued on June 28, 2023. However, it is yet to be formally legalized.

Speaking to ANI, Utsav Sapkota, a participant at the Pride Parade in Nepal, said, “Increase the comprehension, expand it – ramify it more to other villages, towns, urban and rural areas, everywhere; ramify the rights, make it seen, implement it.”

Pride Day in particular is the day when Pride Parade is celebrated. The second Saturday of June is the Pride Day in Nepal. The month of June in the Gregorian calendar is the ‘Pride Month’.

Having one of the progressive constitutions to grant rights and recognition to sexual minorities, Nepal from the last census of 2021 has started collecting data on LGBTQI+ as well. The newly promulgated constitution of Nepal in September 2015 has special provisions for sexual minorities. However, the group has been demanding its complete implementation.

The Nepal government had promised to provide the group with citizenship based on sexual orientation. However, the condition isn’t that favourable when it goes into the implementation. The minorities have been voicing for same-sex marriage which they claim would give them a chance to live life that of heterosexuals.

Utsav Sapkot said, “The Government seems to be adrift in the matters, not that much focused on LGBTQI+ rights as much as it should. The number of people who identify themselves as gay is increasing day by day but the government doesn’t care, and that’s not done.”

As per the latest census of 2021, there are a total of 2,928 people who identified themselves as “others” in terms of gender or sexual orientation. The census of 2021 also set the mark as the first census of the nation to start recording the population of sexual minorities. (ANI)

ALSO READ: India-built school building inaugurated in Nepal

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India-built school building inaugurated in Nepal

The Government of India grant under ‘Nepal-India Development Cooperation’, was utilized for the construction of a school building …reports Asian Lite News

The new building of the Tribhuwan Secondary School in Bulingtar Rural Municipality, Nawalparasi (East), was inaugurated on Friday.

Built with the financial assistance of the Government of India, the project, valued at NRs.27.51 million, marks a testament to the enduring partnership between the two nations under the ‘Nepal-India Development Cooperation’ framework, the Embassy of India in Kathmandu said in a press release.

The project was jointly inaugurated today by Shashank Koirala, Member of Parliament, House of Representatives, Nepal, Bhagauti Yadav, Chief, District Coordination Committee, Nawalparasi (West), Dipendra Sunari, Chairman, Bulingtar Municipality and Sahil Kumar, First Secretary, Embassy of India, Kathmandu.

Political representatives, government officials, social workers, representatives of the school management, teachers, parents and students were also present on this occasion.

The Government of India grant under ‘Nepal-India Development Cooperation’, was utilized for the construction of a school building comprising classrooms, rooms for examination, a principal, staff, administration, a lab for zoology, botany, physics and chemistry, a library, computer, separate toilets for boys and girls with other facilities at Shree Tribhuwan Secondary School.

This initiative, undertaken as a High Impact Community Development Project (HICDP), underscores the commitment of both governments to uplift communities and strengthen educational infrastructure.

“This project was taken up as a High Impact Community Development Project (HICDP), under an Agreement between the Government of India and the Government of Nepal on High Impact Community Development Projects,” the release added.

The project was implemented through the District Coordination Committee, Nawalparasi (West).

Member of Parliament, Chief District Coordination Committee, Nawalparasi, Chairman, Bulingtar Municipality, Political representatives and Chairperson, School Management Committee in their remarks appreciated the continued developmental support of the Government of India in priority sectors.

According to the Press release, the set-up created would be useful in providing better education facilities to the students of Shree Tribhuwan Secondary School.

This infrastructure would create an improved environment for learning as well as contribute to the development of education.

Since 2003, the Government of India has taken up over 551 HICDPs in Nepal in various sectors and has completed 490 projects. Amongst these, 59 projects are in Gandaki Province, including 3 projects in Nawalparasi (East) District.

In addition to these, the Government of India has gifted 1009 ambulances and 300 school buses to various hospitals, health posts and educational institutions in Nepal. Amongst these,

119 ambulances and 40 school buses have been gifted in Gandaki Province, including 9 ambulances and 10 school buses provided in Nawalparasi (East) District, the press release said.

As close neighbours, India and Nepal share wide-ranging and multi-sectoral cooperation.

The implementation of HICDPs reflects the continued support of the Government of India in bolstering the efforts of the Government of Nepal in the upliftment of its people and augmenting infrastructure in the field of priority sectors, especially in the education sector in Nepal. (ANI)

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Nepal’s PM Prachanda Wins Key Confidence Vote

Dahal took the vote of trust amid protests from the opposition Nepali Congress…reports Asian Lite News

Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ on Monday won a vote of confidence in the House of Representatives for the fourth time after he reassumed the premiership in December 2022.

Dahal took the vote of trust amid protests from the opposition Nepali Congress, which has been demanding a probe committee against Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Rabi Lamichhane for his alleged involvement in the embezzlement of deposits in cooperatives, Xinhua news agency reported.

“As many as 158 lawmakers took part in the vote of confidence, of which 157 voted for the vote of confidence, which is a majority of the total existing lawmakers in the house,” announced Dev Raj Ghimire, speaker of the lower house.

The support of 138 lawmakers is enough to win the vote of trust in the 275-member chamber. The vote within 30 days was necessary after Rastriya Janata Party Nepal pulled out of the coalition government last week.

Nepal’s general election in November 2022 produced no majority party in the lower house and Dahal took office for the third time as the head of a coalition government in December that year, and he had different coalition partners ever since.

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Kami Rita Sherpa Sets New Everest Record

Kami first conquered Mount Everest, situated on the border of Nepal and China, in May 1994 and scaled it for the 27th and 28th time within one week in May 2023….reports Asian Lite News

Veteran Nepali climbing guide Kami Rita Sherpa set a new world record on Sunday by ascending the world’s highest Mount Everest (Tibetan name- Mount Qomolangma) for the 29th time.

The 54-year-old Sherpa, who was guiding foreign climbers, reached the 8,848-meter-high peak at 7:25 a.m. local time, said Khim Lal Gautam, field office chief of Nepal’s Department of Tourism.

“Kami Rita Sherpa made history on Sunday morning by climbing the peak 29 times,” Gautam told Xinhua from the base camp.

Kami first conquered Mount Everest, situated on the border of Nepal and China, in May 1994 and scaled it for the 27th and 28th time within one week in May 2023.

Pasang Dawa Sherpa, another Nepali climbing guide, had achieved the feat for the 27th time.

By Friday, a total of 414 climbers had been permitted to scale Mount Everest from the Nepali side during the spring climbing season, according to the Department of Tourism.

Ukrainian climber Valentyn Sypavin, on Saturday morning, became the first foreign national to scale Mount Everest this spring season from the Nepali side.

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Bilateral Pacts Strengthen Nepal-Qatar Relations

The two countries sealed the deals, two agreements and six memorandums of understanding…reports Asian Lite News

The governments of Nepal and Qatar on Wednesday reached agreements on bilateral cooperation in various sectors.

The two countries sealed the deals, two agreements and six memorandums of understanding, after an hour-long meeting between the delegations led by Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, according to Amrit Bahadur Rai, spokesperson for Nepal’s Foreign Ministry.

Media, business, culture and arts, education, scientific research and youth and sports are the areas on which the two countries agreed to focus their cooperation, Xinhua news agency reported.

The emir arrived in Kathmandu on Tuesday for a two-day state visit.

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Prachanda’s Split with Coalition Partner Sparks Political Turmoil in Nepal

The chasm has been reportedly widening between the two biggest parties in the Himalayan Kingdom…reports Asian Lite News

A reshuffle of the cabinet is on the cards in Nepal on Monday with the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) severing its alliance with its coalition partner Nepali Congress.

The chasm has been reportedly widening between the two biggest parties in the Himalayan Kingdom over the claim for chairmanship of the National Assembly.

“Government to change today and the new Cabinet will be formed. Swearing in of ministers will also take place today,” Surendra Pandey, Vice Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN- UML), said in a social media post on Monday.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ will reportedly induct ministers from the CPN-UML, Rashtriya Swatantra Party, and Janata Samajbadi Party apart from the CPN (Maoist Centre).

The move comes after PM Dahal met CPN-UML’s K.P. Sharma Oli, the former prime minister, on Sunday to discuss a new political alliance following a breakdown in their partnerships in 2020 as well as 2023.

The Kathmandu Post reported that PM Dahal will be sending over a letter to President Ramchandra Paudel on the reshuffle, and the new ministers will likely be administered an oath of office and secrecy on Monday evening.

Emerging from an officer bearers’ meeting on Monday, Maoist Centre leader, Devendra Paudel, said the step to join hands with the UML “was taken with a plan to forge a left unity for the long term”.

Paudel was quoted as saying in the daily that a new power equation was developed as the Nepali Congress was creating hindrances for the prime minister to perform.

Becoming the Prime Minister of the South Asian nation in December 2022 with the support of CPN-UML, Dahal cut cords with the party and shook hands with the Nepali Congress within months.

Dahal’s Maoist Centre party is the third biggest group in the 275-member parliament, in which a ruling alliance or party must have 138 votes of support.

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Nepal Imports 300,000 Indian Long-Stem Roses for Valentine’s Day”

Delhi, Bangalore, and Kolkata are the largest suppliers of red roses to Nepal…reports Asian Lite News

 As demand for red roses surge ahead of the Vakentine’s day, Nepal is importing over 3 lakh stems of long-stem roses from India.

Nepal Floriculture Association President Bahadur Tamag said: “The demands for red roses stand at 3,00,500. Only ten per cent of the total demands are met by local productions and we are forced to procure over 90 per cent roses from India to meet the demand during Valentine’s Day.”

Delhi, Bangalore, and Kolkata are the largest suppliers of red roses to Nepal, he added.

Only 23,000 rose stems will be fulfilled by the domestic market. A long stem rose costs Rs 80 to Rs 100. Out of the total demand, as much as 60 per cent will be consumed in Kathmandu and the rest will go outside Kathmandu.

With the pandemic almost over, there is excitement among the youths to celebrate Valentine’s Day just like before the Covid time.

“We failed to produce the roses to meet the domestic demands, said Tamang, adding that it is expected that rose trading around Valentine’s Day will surpass Rs 30.50 million.

India has been the regular market for Nepal for importing different kinds of floriculture products. Last year, only 100,800 stems of roses were sold out during Valentine’s Day but the number will grow significantly this year because of the no fear of any pandemic like Covid, said Tamang.

On average, Nepali traders sell out eight to 10,000 red roses during a normal day.

ALSO READ: Nepal Embassy in Oman organizes free Health Checkup camp

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Nepal Embassy in Oman organizes free Health Checkup camp

Speaking on the occasion the Ambassador, emphasized the community members to go for regular checkup as this will lead to a  healthy lifestyle…reports Vinod Raghavan

MUSCAT : As part of regular community services, Nepal Embassy in the Sultanate of Oman organized free Helath Check-up Camp alongwith Oman Cancer Association (OCA) and Badr Al Sama Hospital at the Embassy presmises here on a Friday weekly holiday.

Around 200 persons from the Nepal community members alongwith other expats attended the free Health Checkup camp and got thoroughly checkup of their blood sugar test, BMI measurement and also Mammography test.

Inspite of the weekly off, the medical and para medical staff of OCA and Badr Al Sama attended the people about their issues and also counselled them with related to their ailment.

Earlier, the programme was inaugurated by lighting the traditional Panas lamp by the Nepal Ambassador Dornath Aryal.

Speaking on the occasion the Ambassador, emphasized the community members to go for regular checkup as this will lead to a  healthy lifestyle.

He also thanked the medical and paramedical staff of OCA and Badr Al Sama hospital for their support and provide free health checkup services. He also thanked the sponsors E6 Holidays Travel Agency and Hamdan Exchange.

The participants also had fun and refreshments provided by Hamdan Exchange and some of them won lucky draw of free one-way Air ticket from Muscat to Kathmandu and some got Dolphin View ticket and gift hampers.

Members of Nepali Social Club and Nepal based Nepali organization participated and volunteered at the camp.

 With the opening up of the economy in the Sultanate of Oman, Westline Group of companies are spreading their wings in the Automobile spare parts market by opening their sixth showroom in the industrial township of Ghala in the Muscat governorate.

 After the inaugural ceremony, speaking to media personnel, Manikandan Kothot, Director, revealed that their sister concern – Empire Parts World, has been operating for the last 15 years dealing in spare parts of vehicles and are dealing in genuine and original spare parts of any vehicle either cars or trucks made in Japan or Korea.

He said, they are the dealers for Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Hyundai, Hino, Kia and also Indian companies Tata and Ashok Leyland.

He, further said that the company has big plans for the coming next two years, as they are planning to open 4 more showrooms in Salalah and Nizwa by 2025. With these showrooms coming up, they will be providing around 150 direct jobs to expats and nationals.

He was full of praise for the Oman authorities for the last one year, Oman has open up for entrepreneurs with simplifying rules and regulations in favour of investors.

ALSO READ-Nepal Deports Chinese NGO Head

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Nepal Deports Chinese NGO Head

Zhiqiang, from a Chinese NGO, arrived in Jajarkot for relief distribution, but local Maoist leaders, including KC, rejected the materials, citing them as substandard and unauthorized…reports Asian Lite News

The government of Nepal recently deported a Chinese lady who was running an NGO inside Nepal and staying illegally in the country.

Zou Zhiqiang, who was heading an NGO named ‘China Foundation for Rural Development’, triggered a controversy after a Maoist leader, Gorakh Bahadur KC, allegedly beat her up during relief distribution at Jajarkot in Western Nepal.

Zhiqiang, on behalf of the Chinese NGO, had reached Jajarkot for relief distribution but the local Maoist leaders, including KC, refused to accept the relief materials calling them substandard items which did not come through proper government channels.

Later, she filed a complaint with the local police station and the CPN (Maoist Centre), the ruling party in Nepal, alleging that KC and his team had beaten her up while she was on the way for relief distribution in Jajarkot.

Over 150 people were killed in the November 3 earthquake in Jajarkot.

One of the assistants of local Maoist leader KC had beaten her up on the spot while she was on the way to distribute relief materials. KC and other Maoist leaders accused her of distributing sub-standard relief materials and that the Chinese relief materials were part of corruption.

Dev Gurung, General Secretary of CPN (Maoist Centre), coordinated the relief distribution. Later, the Maoist Center’s central committee sought clarification from KC saying why had he beaten up the Chinese national.

KC, in his clarification, stated that she accused him of some baseless allegations and that the party General Secretary Gurung was involved in corruption in relief distribution. Gurung is known for being pro-Chinese leader of the Maoist party who in person took the Chinese lady to Jajarkot to facilitate the relief distribution work.

KC accused Gurung of promoting the Chinese NGO for his personal gains and benefits.

Later, the Maoist party launched an investigation against her and it was found she was living in Nepal illegally.

According to the document obtained by IANS, Home Secretary of Nepal, Dinesh Bhattarai, on December 18 decided to deport her and imposed a fine of Rs 15,000 on her for overstaying.

As per the immigration rules of Nepal, the government has barred her from entering Nepal for one year, according to the decision taken by Bhattarai.

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