Nepali Times

KC refuses to end strike

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015
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Dr Govinda KC, whose fast-unto-death has prompted doctors across the country to demand reforms in medical sector, has refused to end his hunger strike.

After the government on Tuesday decided not to grant the Institute of Medicine (IoM)’s affiliations to new medical colleges before putting in place a medical education policy, hope rose that Dr KC would end his hunger strike and doctors would return to their works.

But, Dr KC on Wednesday said the decision was ‘insufficient’.

Dr KC told journalists that he would end his fifth fast-unto-death only when the government fires the Tribhuvan University (TU) officials, who initiated the IoM affiliation process apparently at the behest of Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and Education Minister Chitra Lekha Yadav.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Yadav said she would not fire any TU officials.

Dr KC has been on a fast-unto-death since 22 March, demanding implementation of past agreements reached between him and the government.

In the past, the government had agreed to allow the IoM affiliation process only after passing a policy to this regard. A panel led by education expert Kedar Bhakta Mathema was also formed to formulate the policy. But, the TU officials initiated the affiliation process before the Mathema panel completed its task, prompting Dr KC to go on a hunger strike.

On Tuesday, an emergency cabinet meeting had also instructed Chief Secretary Lila Mani Poudel and National Planning Commission (NPC) Vice Chair Govinda Pokharel to address other demands raised by Dr KC.

But, Dr KC says the TU officials have always ignored agreements between him and the government and he does not want to end his strike without their dismissal this time around.

To put pressure on the government to address Dr KC’s demands, doctors affiliated with Nepal Medical Association, which is an umbrella body of doctor association, have stopped working at the OPDs across the country from Wednesday. But, Dr KC has criticized the NMA’s strike, saying he does not want to see patients suffer because of him.

Resident doctors at the TU teaching hospital, where Dr KC is a senior professor of orthopedics, have already stopped providing service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Four dead in bus collision

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015
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Four people have died and 30 others have been injured in an accident involving collision of two passenger buses in Koshi Highway on Wednesday morning.

According to the police, the accident took place when a bus Ko 1 Kha 4190 en route to Biratnagar from Udayapur and another passenger bus Ko 1 Kha 3805 coming from the opposite direction collided head-on at Morang on the Koshi highway.

Two of the deceased died on the spot while two others died while undergoing treatment. Three of the deceased have been identified as Arun Kumar Jha, 51, of Saptari, Tilchani Devi Mandal, 50, of Sunsari and Sumitra Devi Singh, 61, of Bhimnagar, India while the identity of the fourth deceased is yet to be ascertained.

Police said that overspeeding was the cause of the accident. According to Prabhu Prasad Dhakal of District Police Office, the bus en route to Biratnagar was overspeeding and defaulted the lane, causing the collision.  All the deceased were passengers on the same bus.

The injured are undergoing treatment at Nobel Medical College Teaching Hospital, Golden Hospital and Neuro Hospital in Biratnagar.


Doctors to stop OPD service

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
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gksAs health condition of Dr Govinda KC, who is on a fast-unto-death demanding implementation of past agreements reached between him and the government, continues to deteriorate, an umbrella association of Nepal’s doctors has warned of a nationwide strike from Wednesday.

Nepal Medical Association (NMA) has said that doctors will not work in the OPD sections of any hospital across the country from Wednesday. The NMA Chair Anjani Kumar Jha said emergency service will continue.

The NMA says the government must address all of Dr KC’s demands.

Earlier, resident doctors at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH), where Dr KC has been on a hunger strike since 22 March, had halted the OPD service. MBBS students at the TUTH hospital have also boycotted their classes in solidarity with Dr KC’s demands.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala called an emergency cabinet meeting to solve the crisis created by Dr KC’s hunger strike and instructed a negotiation team to show utmost flexibility to address his demands. But, Dr KC’s representatives say the cabinet decision is insufficient.

On behalf of the government, Chief Secretary Lila Mani Poudel and National Planning Commission (NPC)’s Vice Chair Govinda Pokharel are negotiating with Dr KC’s representatives.

Dr KC has demanded that the IoM affiliation process be halted until the government endorses a medical health education policy that is now being drafted by a panel led by education expert Dr Kedar Bhakta Mathema. The Mathema panel was formed by the government itself when Dr KC launched his fourth fast-unto-death last year.


Govt ‘flexible’ on KC’s demands

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
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GKC

A medical student expressing her solidarity with Dr KC’s demands. Photo by Devaki Bista.

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Tuesday called an emergency meeting to solve the crisis created by the hunger strike of Dr Govinda KC. But, the cabinet failed to take any substantial decision that would convince Dr KC to end his fast-unto-death, which reached tenth day on Tuesday.

According to General Administration Minister Lal Babu Pandit, the cabinet only instructed a high-level negotiation team to show utmost flexibility to address Dr KC’s demands. Pandit, however, said that the negotiation team will have to comply with existing laws or legal provisions while striking any deal with Dr KC.

Secretary Lila Mani Poudel and National Planning Commission (NPC)’s Vice Chair Govinda Pokharel are negotiating with Dr KC’s representatives on behalf of the government. Although the government had included Education Minister Chitra Lekha Yadav and Health Minister Khag Raj Adhikari in the negotiation team, Dr KC refused to talk to them.

According to sources, the government is ready to address all demands but one on dismissal of the Tribhuvan University (TU) officials, who initiated the process to grant the Institute of Medicine (IoM) affiliations to new medical colleges prompting Dr KC to launch his fifth fast-unto-death.

Dr KC has demanded that the IoM affiliation process be halted until the government endorses a medical health education policy that is now being drafted by a panel led by education expert Dr Kedar Bhakta Mathema. The Mathema panel was formed by the government itself when Dr KC launched his fourth fast-unto-death last year.

Dr KC has been on a fast-unto-death since 22 March, accusing Prime Minister Koirala of backtracking on his promises. Shortly after being sworn in as Prime Minister, Koirala had agreed to address all demands raised by Dr KC.

This time, the government tried to ignore Dr KC’ fast-unto-death for the first few days but felt pressure when the TUTH doctors also went on strike. The TUTH resident doctors have stopped working at the OPD since 27 March, expressing solidarity with Dr KC. And Nepal Medical Association (NMA) has also warned of a nationwide strike from Wednesday.

“If the government does not address Dr KC’s demands, we will stop working in all but emergency departments across the country from Wednesday,” said the NMA Chair Anjani Kumar Jha.

Dr KC is a professor of orthopedics at the TUTH and has been prevented the government from providing license to new medical colleges by staging hunger strike for the last few years. He says medical colleges that do not have adequate infrastructures and meet basic criteria should not be granted the IoM affiliations.

 

 

 

 


Jogimara accident

Monday, March 30th, 2015
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Four people, some of them believed to be foreign tourists, have been killed  and 14 injured in a road accident in Jogimara of Dhading district on Monday.

The accident occurred when a micro bus (Ba. 1 Pa 1028) carrying foreign tourists from Pokhara to Kathmandu collided with a bus (Lu. 1 Kha 9593) heading towards Kapilvastu from Kathmandu. Police say all the deceased are the passengers of the micro bus.

Police have yet to ascertain names and nationalities of the deceased. The injured have been rushed to Gajuri Hospital for treatment.

The accident has disrupted vehicular movement along the Prithvi Highway for some time.

Two more people have been killed in two other road accidents in Jajarkot and Jhapa districts on Monday.

 


China Daily scholarships

Sunday, March 29th, 2015
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China daily

Photo: Kathmandu University

China Daily Asia Weekly, which is published in 15 countries including Nepal, has provided scholarships to two Nepali journalism students.

Zhang Haizhou, assistant to the publisher of China Daily Asia Pacific, handed over scholarship award certificates to Unnat Sapkota and Nisha Kunwar (see pic, right), both journalism students at the Kathmandu University (KU), at an event held in Hattiban, Lalitpur on Sunday.

This is the first time that China Daily Asia Weekly has provided journalism scholarship in South Asia.

Zhang Bing, first secretary at the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu, who was also present at the scholarship award distribution ceremony, said the China government has been offering 30 types of scholarships to Nepali students every year and is planning to provide more in the future. He said that such scholarship programs will help strengthen diplomatic relations between Nepal and China.

Mahesh Banskota, Dean of School of Arts at the KU, said such scholarship programs will encourage more students to strive for excellence.

China Daily Asia weekly is being published in Nepal in association with Nepali Times since May, 2013.

 

 

 

 


Maoist cadres clash with police

Sunday, March 29th, 2015
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Cadres of the opposition Maoist-Madhesi parties clashed with police in several parts of the country on Sunday.

Violent clashes broke out between the Maoist-Madhesi cadres and the police in Pokhara, Chitwan and Bhairahawa when the latter intervened in the former’s protest rallies. As part of the UCPN (Maoist)-led 30-parties alliance’s agitation against the ruling parties, the opposition cadres descended on the streets wielding bamboo batons.

Around two dozen protestors and some policemen are reported to have been injured in the clashes after which Pokhara, Chitwan and Bhairahawa remained tense for the rest of the day. The Maoist-Madhesi cadres have announced a shutdown in Bhairahawa on Monday over police’s intervention in their rally.

Even in Kathmandu, the opposition cadres descended on the streets with bamboo batons in their hands and shouting slogans against the ruling parties.

The Maoist-Madhesi parties have been carrying out a series of protests, which they say will culminate in a four-day nationwide shutdown in April, apparently to mount pressure on the ruling NC-UML for a package deal on the disputed issues of the new constitution.

The ruling parties have, however, urged the opposition to withdraw all their protest programs for resumption of serious talks.

Meanwhile, the Constituent Assembly (CA) Chair Subhas Nembang is expected to call the next CA meeting later today, saying that the NC-UML and the Maoist-Madhesi parties did not appear serious to break the deadlock through negotiations.

 

 


 

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