ICYMI: Here are our top stories from Wednesday, June 12Here are some of the top stories from The Kathmandu Post (June 12, 2019).
Here are some of the top stories from The Kathmandu Post (June 12, 2019).
Nepal's prime minister celebrated democratic freedoms in his UK speech. But it contradicts what he’s doing at home.
While Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s Monday speech at the Oxford Union in the United Kingdom valorised the importance of freedoms, rights and democracy, back home, his government has been criticised for what many see as an authoritarian turn, stifling freedom of speech and steadily encroaching on human rights.
In his speech at the Oxford Union, Oli said that as someone who had spent over five decades fighting for democratic rights, and as a result, been imprisoned for 14 years, including four years in solitary confinement, he knew “how important access to education and freedom of speech are for people and society to grow, develop and prosper.”
Almost immediately, Nepalis on social media began to call out the prime minister, pointing to the recent arrest of a comedian for a satirical review of a film as an example of the shrinking space for dissent.
Instead of encouraging provinces, federal government went ahead with staff recruitment
When the Public Service Commission issued a vacancy notice on May 29 to recruit 9,161 staffers at the local level, the Province 5 Assembly had already passed a law for the formation of its Provincial Public Service Commission.
But the commission went ahead with its vacancy notice citing Section 12 (5 and 6) of the Employees Adjustment Act, which states that the federal government can request the Public Service Commission to start the recruitment process for filling the vacant posts until Provincial Public Service Commissions come into place.
This invited criticism from provincial governments, particularly the Jankpur administration, which said the federal government was “overstepping” into the jurisdiction of the provinces. The vacancy announcement also invited widespread criticism—both from the streets and Parliament—for failing to ensure 45 percent seats for the marginalised.
With Guthi Bill, government wants to exploit ancient customs for money, locals say
Members of Kathmandu Valley’s Newar community say they are ready for a showdown if the government doesn’t drop or revise a controversial bill which envisions nationalising all guthis—trusts—both public and private and regulating all religious sites under a powerful commission.
Following two days of protests and public assemblies, trustees of major guthis on Tuesday held mass meetings at their communities in various parts of Kathmandu Valley, expressing concerns over controversial provisions in the bill, which they said are designed to erase history by wiping out the institutional memory of various indigenous communities.
Finland proposes signing air service agreement with Nepal
The Finnish government has formally proposed signing a bilateral air service agreement with Nepal following Finnair’s interest in operating direct flights to Kathmandu.
Finnair is the national flag carrier and largest airline of Finland, headquartered in Vantaa on the premises of Helsinki Airport. A flight between Kathmandu and Helsinki is estimated to take around nine hours.
Tourism Joint Secretary Suresh Acharya told the Post that they received a formal proposal from the Finnish government to sign an air service agreement three weeks ago, following talks with Finnair officials and the Finnish ambassador to Nepal two months ago.