The Director of Center for South Asian Studies, Nischalnath Pandey, is a keen student of diplomacy in South Asia and of the strategic rivalry between India and China in Nepal. As Nepal and China prepare for a joint military drill, Biswas Baral and Mahabir Paudyal caught up with him on Wednesday afternoon to get his views on China’s perceived assertiveness in Nepal, on Nepal-India ties and on Nepal’s foreign policy priorities.
What do the Madheshi parties make of the Supreme Court verdict on constitution amendment? Do they in fact even support the amendment bill tabled by the ruling coalition? Biswas Baral and Mahabir Paudyal talked to Sarbendranath Sukla, General Secretary of Tarai Madhesh Democratic Party, a key constituent of Madheshi Morcha.
Chairman of Constitutional Committee of the first Constituent Assembly Nilamber Acharya has been a first-hand witness to the evolution of the constitutional process since the first CA elections in 2008. Biswas Baral and Mahabir Paudyal wanted to know from the veteran constitutional expert what he made of the current disputes over the proposed second amendment of the new constitution. And how does he answer those who have questioned the legitimacy of the constitution?
Senior Nepali Congress leader and former finance minister Ram Sharan Mahat is an advocate of fiscally strong federal units. He believes Nepal’s federal experiment has gone wrong because it became an emotive issue, and not one based on economic logic. So what does he make of the current disputes over the proposed break up of Province 5? And how do we break the current constitutional deadlock? Biswas Baral and Mahabir Paudyal met with the veteran Congress leader on Wednesday.
Ravi Chawla, the managing director of Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd, was recently in Nepal, along with former Manchester United footballer Quinton Fortune, for brand promotion of Gulf lubricants in Nepal.
Sipradi Trading Ltd, the authorized distributor of Tata Motors for Nepal, started its 'Test Drive for Education' campaign in September this year. Sipradi has been providing parents of students at various Kathmandu schools its vehicles for test driving and donates Rs 500 to that school for every test drive. The donation goes toward developing the schools infrastructure and providing scholarships to underprivileged students. Ashim Neupane of Republica talked to Hemant Puranik, the country manager for Tata Motors Ltd for Nepal, to know more about the campaign. Excerpts:
Bhojraj Pokharel as Chief Election Commissioner successfully conducted the first Constituent Assembly elections in 2008. The now retired civil servant has since closely studied other transitional countries and their electoral systems. He has at times even acted as an interlocutor in the (still ongoing) negotiations over the new constitution in Nepal. Are timely elections still possible? What can Nepal learn from other transitional countries? And what, in his view, are the dangers of putting off important decisions? Biswas Baral and Mahabir Paudyal caught up with him.
With the unified Rastriya Prajantra Party deciding not to support constitution amendment bill registered in the parliament on November 29th, the fate of the amendment motion hangs in balance. As the second largest party in parliament, CPN-UML, is vehemently opposed to the proposed amendments, the support of unified RPP is vital for the bill to have any chance of passing with two-thirds majority. So how does it feel to play the kingmaker? And what can we expect from the united party? Biswas Baral and Mahabir Paudyal met RPP Executive Chairman and former Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa for some insight.
Sinead O' Reilly-Henell is the General Manager of Hyatt Regency Kathmandu which recently bagged the 'World Travel Awards 2016' as a leading hotel in Nepal. As Nepal's hospitality and tourism industry recovers from the 2015 earthquakes and subsequent political unrest, Sagar Ghimire of Republica talked with the seasoned hotelier about her experience of working in Nepal, the pace of recovery of hotel and the industry after the 2015 earthquakes, and the hotel's preparation in the competitive environment, among others. Excerpts:
As we went to press, the ruling coalition had reportedly reached an understanding with the protesting Madheshi parties on the proposed amendments of the new constitution. How did this become possible? What are the points of agreements? And what happens now? Republica team of Biswas Baral and Mahabir Paudyal talked to former finance minister Barsha Man Pun, the Maoist leader who has been a key interlocutor in current negotiations on constitution amendment.