Thursday, March 29, 2007

The story of love and friendship goes like this

These are some of the news that tell the story

Indians sit-in at Jogbani point, lend support to MJF
(its no surprise, as India can do any shameless act)

Activists of an Indian group called Seema Jagaran Manch (SJM) of Bihar organised a sit-in at Indo-Nepal transit point at Jogbani on Wednesday stopping all export and import activities.
The SJM activists expressed their solidarity with the agitation launched by Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) in Nepal, reports Kantipur daily. In a statement issued by the SJM, it has stated that they organised the sit-in to protest police atrocities against Indian nationals during Terai agitation launched by MJF.
Some activists of MJF also accompanied the SJM in the sit-in. The SJM has also accused the Maoists of expanding their organisation by staying in Indian territory and of unleashing atrocities against Indian nationals in Biratnagar, Gaur and Biratnagar with the help of police.
The daily quotes Bhanu Prasad Raya, president of SJM, as saying that the Maoists were expanding their organization in Indian territory and that the sit-in was held to exert pressure to stop it
Due to the sit-in, the collection revenue at the Biratnagar customs office was seriously affected on Wednesday. On an average, the office collects Rs 18 million revenue daily and around 300 cargo trucks move to and fro the Jogbani point. sd Mar 29 07
Indian group stages sit-in supporting MPRF
(These reporters may loose their job from the pressure of Indian embassy)
BIRATNAGAR, March 29 - At a time when speculations are rife about the involvement of people from neighboring India in violent rallies of the Madheshi People's Rights Forum (MPRF) in terai districts, an organization based in the Indian state of Bihar staged a sit-in in the Indian side of the Jogbani border point "protesting police crackdown on Indian nationals during MPRF rallies and expressing solidarity with MPRF's protests", Wednesday.
The sit-in by Seema Jagaran Manch, Bihar, has not only confirmed the involvement of Indian nationals in violent MPRF rallies, but also raised questions over the type of nexus the MPRF has with the organization.
Customs work was halted as agitators prevented vehicles from plying via the border point. On a normal day, around 300 goods trucks pass through the point while the Customs Office collects at least Rs 18 million in revenue.
In a statement, the Manch also accused Maoists of attacking Indian nationals with the help of police in Biratnagar, Gaur, Birgunj and many other places during MPRF's protest programs.
"The sit-in at the border point is also aimed at exerting pressure to stop the Maoists' ongoing expansion of their organization in India in recent times," said Bhanu Prasad Rai, chairman of the organization. He also clearly said that his organization "fully supports MPRF's movement in the Terai".
The local administration claims that Wednesday's sit-in was enough to justify the earlier suspicion of infiltration of Indian nationals in rallies organized here by MPRF in the past.
On January 31, two Indian nationals--Dalbal Tiwari and Rustam Miya--along with half a dozen other MPRF cadres were injured in a clash with police at bordering Materuwa area as protesters tried to snatch weapons from the police. On that very day, Sub-inspector Nareshjung Karki was brutally killed as MPRF cadres stormed the Budhanagar police post.
Local authorities also claim that a large number of Indians had taken part in the violent demonstration at Singhiya Bridge area on February 7 where two MPRF cadres were killed in police action.
Meanwhile, police claimed that MPRF cadres and leaders were also present at the sit-in. MPRF's Budhanagar chairman Prithvi Chanda Sah, Biratnagar-22 chairman Mahesh Shah and many cadres of Amaduwa village also participated in the sit-in, police sources at bordering Rani post claimed.

Bihar politician's name crops up in Nepal carnage
(And its no surprise, everybody knows)

KATHMANDU: An all-women team of human rights activists and journalists who visited violence-hit Gaur town to investigate the massacre last week - in which at least 29 people were killed — will seek an appointment with Indian ambassador to Nepal Shiv Shankar Mukherjee to express serious concerns about Indian criminal gangs possible involvement and the rise in anti-social activities on both sides of the border. Shobha Gautam, coordinator of Shanti Malika, an umbrella of 18 rights organisations, told the media in Kathmandu on Monday, after returning from the southern district, that her team was concerned at the stepped-up campaigning in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh by local Indian leaders in support of the ongoing agitation in the Terai for an autonomous Madhes state for plains people. The controversial nature of some of the Indian leaders campaigning in Bairgania and Katihar in India has raised fear in Nepal that armed men from across the border could have sneaked in and unleashed violence in Gaur. Bihar leader Anand Mohan Singh, whose name came up in the lynching of Gopalganj district magistrate G Krishnaiyah in 1994, who was found carrying arms inside Lok Sabha four years later, and has been named in over two dozen criminal cases, had been campaigning in border towns before and after the violence in Nepal. Also present at some of the public rallies were Bihar politicians Dadan Singh Yadav, who was dubbed Pahalwan for advocating the infusion of wrestling in politics, former Bihar health minister Shakuni Chaudhary and former MP Rambachan Paswan. Various rights group returning from Gaur say the carnage was pre-planned with at least three girls being brutally raped and then beaten to death with bricks and stones
(Some more presents from our beloved neighbour)
7 killed in Nepal, Indian gang suspected

KATHMANDU: Seven people were injured Tuesday in a broad daylight shootout by a suspected Indian gang in Nepal's frontier Parsa district. Though Chhotelal Sahani, the alleged leader of an Indian gang that had been preying on traders in both India and Nepal, is currently in India's Motihari jail, there has been no respite for businessmen in southern Nepal, who continue to be plagued in his name. Four men arrived on motorcycles in the Chandal Chowk area of Parsa and fired at a shop, including shop-owner Vinod Gupta, when the country was celebrating the Hindu religious festival of Ram Navami. More than half the injured are said to be Indians. Some of the injured were rushed to neighbouring Indian city Patna for treatment. The gunmen left pamphlets at the site, claiming the attack to be the handiwork of Sahani. "You have a choice," the pamphlets said. "Your money or your life." There were several attacks on businessmen last year, allegedly by members of the Sahani gang, near their residences or work places for resisting extortion demands. Tuesday's attack comes even as Nepal has been expressing fear that Indian criminals were involved in last week's massacre in another frontier town in Nepal-Gaur-where at least 29 people died and dozens were injured. Human rights and media teams that visited the town in Rautahat district after the last carnage suspect the involvement of local politicians from Indian border towns. Bihar politician and former MP Anand Mohan Singh, accused in several criminal cases, had been holding public meetings in Indian towns adjoining Nepal's border just before the Gaur massacre and there is rising clamour in Nepal for an investigation into the Indian connection. Singh and other Bihar politicians, like former minister Dadan Singh Yadav, Shakuni Chaudhary, Vashihst Narayan Singh and former legislator Rambachan Paswan, have been addressing mass meetings in Indian towns, supporting Nepal's Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-an ethnic group demanding an autonomous state for Terai people in southern Nepal. Subodh Pyakurel, the chief of the Informal Sector Service, Nepal's biggest NGO, said rights activists were told by villagers that 300 people bearing arms had arrived in Gaur from across the border a day before the attack. "The government should conduct an investigation," said Sushil Pyakurel, a former member of Nepal's National Human Rights Commission. "Then it should begin talks with the Indian government to look into these allegations."

The headline should be Indian traders blackmail Nepal government
Indian traders protest 'unfair' Nepal tax
Indo-Asian News Service
Kathmandu, March 25, 2007

Indian businessmen in Nepal are protesting against a tax imposed by the Nepal government from 2005, calling it unfair and misleading.
Over 150 Indians signed a petition on Thursday, asking Nepal's finance ministry to revoke a tax that though intended for tourists, is being levied indiscriminately on Indians living in Nepal and running businesses in Kathmandu.
Indian businessman Manoj Singhal said the group will also petition Nepal's foreign ministry and culture, tourism and civil aviation ministry, telling them it was wrong to levy the tourism service fee meant for tourists on people residing in Nepal.
In January 2005, when King Gyanendra was finalising his plan to stage a coup and seize power with the help of the army, as a step to generate more funds for his ambitious plan, he persuaded the then government, appointed by him, to restructure the tourism service fee.
Earlier, tourists visiting Nepal had to pay the fee only when they took part in acknowledged tourist activities, like trekking, rafting, staying in hotels and dining at restaurants.
However, the financial ordinance issued on Jan 14, 2005 now makes it mandatory for all non-Nepalis flying out of Nepal's only international airport to pay the tax.
While making the revision, the state-run Nepal Tourism Board tried to justify it by saying it would facilitate tourists' stay in Nepal, ridding them of the trouble of having to pay the fee each time they availed of a tourism service.
However, in reality, the scheme was part of the drive by the royal government to raise funds for the Royal Nepalese Army to start a military operation against the Maoists and increase security operations like surveillance on politicians.
Around the same time, the government also increased value added tax to 13 percent. This means now any non-Nepali departing from Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport has to pay a tourism service fee of NRS 565, irrespective of whether they are tourists or not.
Singhal says it is doubly unfair to impose this tax on Indian businessmen resident in Nepal since they are already paying the government additional tax 25 per cent of their earnings which establishes the fact they are not tourists.
The petition quotes the Oxford dictionary definition of a tourist. A tourist is a person who makes a short stay, is not a resident and is not allowed to take part in business activities. "We are registered with the Nepal government," says Singhal. "How can we then be regarded as tourists?"
There are at least 20,000 Indian families resident in Kathmandu alone. Thousands of Indians live in the outer districts, working or running businesses. Some of them have been living in Nepal for over three decades, and still have to pay the tourism service fee.
The Indian embassy in Kathmandu is reported to have taken up the matter several times with the Nepal government but to no avail. Though the new seven-party government of prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala that came to power after the fall of King Gyanendra's regime scrapped many of the decisions taken by the royal cabinet, it has not revoked any of the decisions affecting India and Indians adversely.

(Not only they are blackmailing government, Indian companies in Nepal are looting public also. Everyone knows the case of UTL, that got Rs 19 cror tax free from Royal regime. This year the Loktantrik government also gave them some more tax break. Every Indian fraud thinks Nepal is the place to do business, as the government is theirs not Nepalese. )
Insurance firms let down public

KATHMANDU, March 14 - The decision of three major insurance companies to lower their committed returns on premium has shattered the dream of thousands of policy holders of doubling their savings through a 15 year insurance policy.
The latest rate of return, which has sliced off Rs 33,000 worth of returns in a 15-year policy amounting to Rs 100,000 has already been opposed fiercely by insurance agents who sold thousands of polices with the promise of doubling the returns in 15 years.
Life Insurance Corporation (Nepal), American Life Insurance Company (Alico) and Nepal Life Insurance Company (NLIC) that entered the Nepali market over three years ago, had promised a 6.5 percent annual rate of return, meaning that overall return after 15 years of annual investment would be doubled.
However, contrary to the promise with which they marketed their products, companies have scaled down the rate to as low as 2.5 percent, citing low return on investment due to a sluggish economy.
Alico has announced a bonus of 2.5 percent in case a client chooses to withdraw the policy, and will pay additional 2.5 percent in case they continue the policy till maturity.
LIC Nepal has declared bonus of 4.3 percent for policy lasting up to 15 years, 4.7 for policy of 20 years, 5.3 for policy of 25 years and 6.5 percent for policy exceeding 25 years.
Likewise, NLIC has announced bonus from 3.9 to 6.5 percent for life insurance products of different variations, said a senior official at Insurance Board (IB), the regulatory authority.
"With this new rate of return, a client with a 15-year insurance policy, which is the most popular life insurance policy in Nepal, will now have to keep on paying their annual premium for 10 more years to see their investment doubled," Bijaya Rana Bhat, marketing representative of LIC Nepal informed.
Worse the companies have not made their bonus rates public. Even though IB has directed them to publish the rates in at least three leading national dailies, the companies have not yet complied.
As a result, some 350,000 clients of those companies are still unaware how they have been let down.
Opposing the rate of return, insurance agents of LIC Nepal have launched a strike flaying the announcement. Those at Alico have also threatened the company management with strike if it does not provide them with a face saving deal.
IB has also warned the companies of stringent action if they do not inform the public of the new bonus rates as it has directed, by publishing the rates in three national dailies.
Insurance experts, meanwhile, said that the very strategy of marketing products at a higher bonus rate was wrong on the part of the companies.
Posted on: 2007-03-13 21:29:58 (Server Time)

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