The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North

The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North
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Monday, May 21, 2007

The Alliance must come up with its voice in favour of repatriation

PM to sort out issues before polls
Monday, May 21,2007
KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and strongman of the Nepal Workers’ and Peasants’ Party (NWPP) Narayan Man Bijukchhe today conferred on current issues, including the expediency of announcing the date for the constituent assembly election.
Quoting Koirala, an NWPP leader, Prem Suwal, told this daily that “the eight-party meeting cannot be held until and unless outstanding issues are sorted out.”
The date for constituent assembly polls can be announced only after a number of issues play out in a desired way, Suwal quoted Koirala as saying.
The nagging issues which are deterring Koirala from making an early announcement of the date for the CA election range from intimidation of the Young Communist League (YCL), return of the property seized by the Maoists to the rightful owners and fulfilment of demands raised by Tarai-centric members of parliament.
Bijukchhe also took up the issue of repatriation of Bhutanese refugees with Koirala. The former said that the alliance must come up with its voice in favour of repatriation specially after the graduation to loktantra.
The NWPP leader called for the appointment of officials in the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), while Koirala said that the appointment of Biswanath Upadhayay as the NHRC chief was still valid. Koirala said he was insisting on eight-party endorsement before picking up members.
Meanwhile, the NWPP has demanded that the 99 ropani of land near Sallaghari in Bhaktapur, which belongs to the Royal Palace, be allotted to the proposed Khowpa University. Bijukchhe made the demand at the meeting with the PM. “The PM has given a positive indication,” said Suwal. While the issue was taken up with Koirala earlier also, he is said to be more positive now than before.


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