Four days left for election campaigning

Only four days remain for the political parties and candidates to carry out electioneering for the election to the House of Representatives and Province Assembly Member taking place on November 20.

Section 13 of the Election Code of Conduct has determined November 3 to 17 as the dates for running the election campaign activities as rallies, mass assembly, corner assembly, meeting, gathering by political parties, candidates, the parties’ sister organisations and related people.

The so-called election silence period starts from November 17 midnight and election campaigning is barred thereafter.

The Election Commission has stated that the Election Code of Conduct is being abided by and initiating action in cases of its violation continues.

Source: National News Agency Nepal

As COP27 makes halfway, decisive negotiation is left to the political level

As the UN climate change conference, COP27, has come a halfway to the two-week-long event in Sharma El Sheikh city of Egypt, the world leaders have repeated the warning of ‘climate hell’, while decisive negotiations are now transferred to the political table. Similarly, as in the previous years, the poor and least developed countries (LDCs) are univocal to remind the historic responsibility of the industrially developed and rich countries behind growing greenhouse gas emission and the brunt being borne by the small and under-resourced ones. Since the beginning of the conference, various world leaders including UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and world climate champion Al Gore addressed the event. Both Al Gore and the US President Joe Biden seconded the warning made by the Secretary General that the world was making headway to ‘climate hell’. It evidently shows a global urgency on climate change. Similarly, other experts, observers and researchers have so far shared both hope and despair over the event delivery. Some positive campaigns and best practices shared in the conference and side events have built hope while the prospect of tough negotiation ahead to deal with climate crisis is likely to shake trust. Expert on climate change adaptation and development, Dr Lisa Schipper, mentions in tweet, “Half the events I’ve attended at #COP27 are bubbling with positive examples of local action to address climate change. The other half warn against the absolutely massive scale and severity of the challenge. What’s being done is NOT ENOUGH without government commitments.” Similarly, reviewing the first week of the COP27, a PhD candidate of geography at Cambridge University, Friederike Hartz, shared her observation with Rastriya Samachar Samiti (RSS) this way: “COP27 started out with a lot of hope, especially in the context of loss and damage. Getting a sub-agenda item on loss and damage finance was a historic success. Week two will now show what this was actually worth. A lot of work remains to do for negotiators.” Nepal has shared best practices of locally-led climate change adaptation. The officials from the Ministry of Forests and Environment claimed that Nepal is the champion on climate change adaptation. Nepal is vibrantly raising the issues of loss and damage and impact on mountain ecosystem this time. The second week is awaited to see how effectively and convincingly Nepal and LDCs raise their concern. In this regard, climate change specialist Bimal Regmi shared from Egypt, “The Nepali delegation has been very active in lobbying for additional financial resources for scaling out locally led adaptation and direct access to international finance. We aren’t arguing that current financial instrument within UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has failed to provide fast track financing to adequately support impacted and vulnerable communities.” He however suggested that it is time to reform these institutions. Moreover, climate change negotiator for LDC, Manjeet Dhakal, shared from Egypt that the negotiations have now moved to the second week, where the ministers would take over and try to resolve divergence at political level. When asked whether there was any significant achievement in the first week in the global climate event, Dhakal observed, “The progress on the first week was slow and many political differences are still to be resolved.” According to him, the major topics are reducing emissions to limit global warming to 1.5°C, doubling support for adaptation, and establishment of dedicated funding for loss and damage. He commented that the negotiating texts are lengthy with multiple options that would require political breakthrough. Meanwhile, climate expert Ngamindra Dahal said, “Major emitters intend to shift debate beyond 1.5 degree centigrade target which will kill hope of the most vulnerable countries from the global south.” A week to go, let’s see how the COP27, regarded as the implementation summit, will be able to act on fostering the common global agenda of ensuring safe future to entire humanity and planet.

Source: National News Agency Nepal

EC’s directive to curb activities harming election

The Election Commission (EC), Central Code of Conduct Monitoring Committee has directed the district-based election code monitoring bodies to curb aberrant activities or organization of feasts and parties or disturbing the peace by any election candidate and political parties likely to harm the election environment.

A meeting of the Committee held on Sunday directed the district code monitoring committees to also keep a tab on activities as making threat, coercion and enticement to anyone and to immediately inform about the same in case such activities are found committed by anybody. It also instructed the district-based election code monitoring committees, the Election Officer and the Monitoring Officer to promptly initiate action on matters that call for such action.

The meeting was chaired by Election Commissioner Ram Prasad Bhandari, who is the Coordinator of the Central Election Code of Conduct Monitoring Committee. Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya and Commissioner Ishwori Prasad Poudel were also present in the meeting.

Likewise, the Nepal Police has been directed, through the Ministry of Home Affairs, to prohibit the sale, distribution and consumption of alcohol during the election silence period (48 hours before the start of the voting and until the completion of vote counting) and to confiscate the contraband if be required as per the existing laws.

The meeting also directed the Monitoring Officer and District Code Monitoring Committee to submit to the Central Code Monitoring Committee or to the Election Commission within three days a report on the complaints related to the code violation received so far, the clarification sought in that connection, the clearance of the complaints and the status of action initiated till date.

Source: National News Agency Nepal

Conservationists express concern over threat to yellow-breasted bunting

Representatives of the stakeholder agencies under the local level have underscored the urgent need of conservation of the threatened bird Bagale Bagedi, the yellow-breasted bunting.

It has been reclassified as critically endangered on the red list of threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

This was highlighted by ornithologists in a seminar on conservation of Bagale Bagedi organized by Pokhara Bird Society here on Sunday.

On the occasion, Anisha Rana, a researcher on Bagale Bagedi, said that this species of buntings migrate to Nepal from the Siberian region to escape the harsh winter cold and its population is nominal at the global and national level.

She shared that the yellow-breasted bunting s start arriving Nepal from Siberia towards mid-November and stay here in Nepal for about six months before returning back to Siberia. These birds inhabit the wetlands near the lakes in Pokhara.

Rana cited a survey report that showed the presence of 230 of this species of bird in Phewa Lake, 12 in Gunde Lake and 13 in Khaste Lake. This bird was not seen in the six remaining lakes in Pokhara.

“This bird’s habitat is in the wetland, farmland and grassland. The bunting is similar to the size of sparrow and it is an attractive bird. Its average weight is 22 grams and is 14 centimetres to 16 centimetres long. It lives for seven years on an average,” informed another researcher Amrit Poudel.

It migrates to Nepal from Russia, Mongolia and China during the winter. Its decline has become extreme in the past decade, likely driven by excessive trapping at migration and wintering sites, according to the IUCN. This bird is highly endangered globally as people kill it for its meat.

A working paper on the yellow-breasted buntings shared in the seminar states that 886 species of birds are recorded in Nepal while there are 11 thousand 225 species of birds in the world.

The Spiny Babbler is only found in Nepal.

The protected bird species of Nepal are the Black Stork (Ciconia nigra), the White Stork (Ciconia ciconia), the Sarus Crane (Grus antigone), the Cheer Pheasant (Catreus wallichii), the Himalayan Monal/Impeyan Pheasant (Lophophorus impejanus), the Satyr Tragopan (Tragopan satyra), the Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis) and the Lesser Florican (Sypheotides indicus).

Sixty-two species of birds arrive in Nepal during the summer while 152 species of birds migrate to Nepal during winter to escape cold. Similarly, it is said that 50 species of birds arrive in Nepal on the way of migrating while 79 species are seen as wanderers.

Source: National News Agency Nepal

‘No local people in political leadership is misfortune for Kathmandu rim country’

 The people of Jhor and Sangla area to the north of Kathmandu election constituency no 6 complain that their area remains neglected even to this day as it lacks effective political leadership. This area is one where lorries used to ply back during the Rana period (1846 -1951).

Jhor and Sangla are two places which are representative of the plight of what is called the ‘Kaanth’ area. Kaanth areas are the rural areas on the outer rim of the Kathmandu Valley. Despite their location near the country’s federal capital, the Kaanth areas lack in many amenities.

The Jhor and Sangla locals say that they are in consultation on electing the candidates who have genuine love for the Kaanth area in the parliamentary election scheduled for this November 20. They are eagerly waiting for the voting day.

The then Rana rulers had built road up to the foot of the Shivapuri hill via Balaju for transporting grass and water from this area to downtown Kathmandu on lorries. However, this ancient road is gone for lack of preservation. They rued that the Kaanth area still languishing in neglect even though the country has entered the republic period after experimenting with constitutional monarchy era following the overthrow of the Panchayat rule.

“It is our misfortune that the Kaanth area lags behind in terms of development and other modern facilities despite its location close to the federal capital,” they rued. Jhor and Sangla are only 15 kilometres away to the north of Ratna Park in the centre of Kathmandu.

Although the political party leaders give assurances during electioneering before every election to improve the living standard of the people of Kaanth area through development of infrastructures, they seldom fulfilled their promises.  Now, the conscious voters in this area say they will not be taken for a ride by parties anymore.

In this parliamentary election, the Kaanth voters say they plan to vote the candidate who really loves their area by rising above an individual, party or ideology.

“Only the shrewd politicians of the city get the election ticket and it’s them who get elected most often. They allocate the development budget as per their vested interest and only for the city area while neglecting the Kaanth area,” complained Sushil Adhikari, an elderly of Jhor, Tokha Municipality-1.

As Adhikari said it is the misfortune for them that so far person born and grew up in Kaanth area has not reached to the rank of party leadership and in parliament.

“It’s too much now. We’ve grown this old voting for candidates from the urban areas in so many elections, Now we are holding consultations to give our votes to the candidate who really loves the Kaanth and committed to its development,” said Adhikari.

Narayan Bahadur Khatri, a retired civil servant and a resident of Jhor, said, “The real development cannot take place in the Kaanth area until quality education and health services are available, big industries and factories are opened and wide metalled roads are constructed in this area.”  He believes that like in the previous elections, the voters in Kaanth area will take part in this historic parliamentary election capable of deciding the country’s and the peoples’ future, as well.

Another senior citizen Mohan Lamichhane also echoes Adhikari.  “The leaders of the parties whom we voted and elected have become the government ministers from time to time, but they have done precious little for the development of the Kaanth area. Now we are in consultation in our localities whether to vote for the independent candidates in this parliamentary election,” Lamichhane said.

“We are planning to give our votes to the candidates who are dedicated to the development of the Kaanth area in this election,” said Shyam Krishna Kunwar, a resident of Sangla, Tarakeshwor Municipality-1. He expressed his frustration towards the political parties and their leaders, saying they have neglected the Kaanth area although the locals have voted them to power in every election.

Bishnu Maya Tamang of Sangla is not much interested in the election. “Although there is talk about the election in the village, we have no time for that. We have to work to make ends meet. But I will go give my vote to my favourite candidate in the election on November 20, abandoning all work,” she said.

The locals of Jhor, Sangla and surrounding Kaanth areas are holding consultation among each other to give their vote to the candidate expressing commitment to repair and mend the roads and trails in the area that are in poor shape and to supplying clean drinking water.

Similarly, they are saying that they will vote for the candidates who commit to smooth and timely supply of seeds and fertilizers to farmers, to constructing agriculture and dairy products sales depots, to provide vocational training to the unemployed local youth, to set up technical and vocational schools and to set up industries and enterprises creating jobs to the locals in the Kaanth areas.

Twenty-four candidates, including former minister Bhimsen Das Pradhan, former police officer Sarbendra Khanal and Sishir Khanal are running for the HoR Member election from this constituency. Pradhan is the common candidate of the ruling Left-Democratic Alliance, Sarbendra Khanal is the candidate of the CPN (UML) and Shishir is an independent candidate.

Source: National News Agency Nepal

Gold price slightly decreases to trade at Rs 97,200 per tola

Price of gold has been today traded at Rs 97,200 per tola (11.6638038 grams), a decrease of Rs 100 per tola as compared to the previous trading day.

Similarly, price of Tejabi (worked) gold has decreased Rs 100 per tola to stand at Rs 96,700 per tola as opposed to Rs 96,800 per tola the previous trading day, according to the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers Association.

Likewise, silver price has been fixed at Rs 1,295 per tola, a decrease of Rs 5 per tola as opposed to the previous trading day.

Source: National News Agency Nepal

Women leading eight polling centers in Myagdi

Galeshwor, Nov 14 (RSS): Women have got the leadership in looking after eight polling centers in Myagdi district. Female returning officers have been assigned to take care of eight polling centers out of the total 120, said the office of the chief returning officer.

The move means to make polling centers for the upcoming elections to the House of Representatives and the Province Assembly inclusive, said assistant returning officer, Tej Prasad Paudel. The voting is scheduled for November 20.

The polling center in Beni Municipality-2 has got all female employees including the returning officer and assistant returning officer. “We have put women in priority in selecting employees for the polls,” he said.

The polling centers that have got female returning officers include the ones at Mukti Marga Secondary School, Ghar (B), Takam Secondary School, Takam (A), Ram Chandra Secondary School, Arjam, Rastriya Secondary School, Neptechaur (B), Janapriya Secondary School, Darbang (A), Himal Basic School Patlekhet, temporary center prison and Mangala Secondary School, Babiyahcaur.

This has encouraged women employees assigned for the elections. “I am glad to have taken this responsibility for the polls,” said a returning officer, Ambika Sharma.

Meanwhile, the office of the chief returning officer has urged all to make polling centers disabled people friendly.

Source: National News Agency Nepal

Election preparations complete in Bhaktapur

Preparations for the elections to the Member of the House of Representatives and the Province Assembly in Bhaktapur have been completed. Voting for the twin elections is taking place simultaneously across the country on November 20.

Chief District Officer Rudra Devi Sharma said 2,008 security personnel were mobilised for the election purpose. All polling officers have been deputed to the polling stations with required logistics. “We are confident that the voting would conclude in a peaceful, free and cordial atmosphere.”

The district has 76 polling locations and 219 polling centers while the number of eligible voter is 193,172 (51,422 females and 49,839 males in the Bhaktapur constituency-1 and 47,062 females, 44,844 males and five others in the constituency-2).

Source: National News Agency Nepal