Thousands of women gather at Pashupatinath temple in Nepal for Teej

On August 24, thousands of women visited Pashupatinath temple in Nepal to celebrate the festival of Hartalika Teej. According to the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT), around 700,000 devotees visited the temple on this day to offer their prayers to Lord Shiva. For Nepalese women, this is an important festival, where the married women pray for marital bliss and prosperity and unmarried women observe it to find a suitable husband.

Approximately 5,000 cops, from the Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force, were deployed for security of the devotees, visiting the temple. The PADT authorities created specific facilities to avoid long queue hours but simultaneously discontinued the ticketing system for devotees who want quick darshan. Arrangements for the convenience of elderly and disabled people were also taken care off by the temple authorities.

Health camps were set up to provide emergency medical services to devotees. In addition to this, provisions for an information center, and mobile toilets were also made for the festival day. Due to the large footfall, traffic police divisions were set up to avoid road congestion.

Alike past years, this year too, the Teej festivity was observed with much excitement and joy all over Nepal. Women in red danced and sang in the Shiva temples, and the fasting didn’t seem to bother anyone.

Meanwhile, President Bidya Devi Bhandari extended her warm wishes to all the Nepalese women, who celebrated Teej in the country.
Sources: The Kathmandu PostThe Himalayan Times


India,Nepal sign 8 pacts, call for closer security and defence ties

India and Nepal drafted eight pacts, including on cooperation in countering drug trafficking in New Delhi today. The pacts were signed after comprehensive talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba on strategic bilateral and regional issues.

“Had a positive meeting reviewing the gamut of our partnership,” PM Modi said at a joint press event with Deuba and assured him of India’s commitment towards overall growth and development of the Himalayan nation, NDTV reported. Responding to Modi’s gesture, Deuba said Nepal would “never allow any anti-India activities from its soil”. Holding that Nepal was “not only a neighbour, but also a good friend of India”, Deuba said its relation with India stood on a solid foundation.

Identifying defence and security as an important aspect of bilateral ties, Modi at a joint press briefing after the talks said “Defence ties and assistance in security is an important aspect of our partnership. Our defence interests are also dependent on and connected to each other,” the New Indian Express reported.

The two leaders also jointly inaugurated the Kataiya-Kusaha and Raxaul-Parwanipur cross border power transmission lines.

Earlier, Mr Deuba was accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan, where he is staying as a state guest. Mr Deuba arrived in New Delhi on August 23 on a four-day visit, his first foreign trip after assuming office in June this year.

Sources: NDTV, The New Indian Express


Indian Women’s cricket team touches new heights

Indian women’s cricket team smashed Nepal during Women’s Asia Cup T20. Chasing a score of 121 for a win, Nepal now holds a record of being bowled out for just 21 runs in 16.3 overs, the lowest total in history to endure a crushing defeat.

Indian team belted the match with an electrifying 99- run win in the tournament that took place in Bangkok on Friday.Indian women in the allotted 20 overs scored 120 for a loss of 5 wickets with Shikha Pandey bagging the top score of 39 not out on 32 balls which was laced with five boundaries.

Team Captain Harmanpreet Kaur (14 not out) and Pandey together scored a total of 51 for the unbroken sixth wicket to reach the total of 121 at the Asian Institute of Technology Ground. Though, Indian team had already qualified for the finals before scoring the victory against Nepal so they rested some top players including Jhulan Goswami and Mithali Raj.

Indian Team’s winning margin of 99 is the third highest in terms of runs.India after winning all the five matches ended the league in the top position with 10 points, Sabbhineni Meghana and Anuja Patil scored two wickets each while Poonam Yadav was the most successful Indian bowler with figures of 3 for 9.


IMAGE SOURCE : Cricket Country

Pushpa Kamal Dahal sworn in as Nepal’s new Prime Minister.

Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Chairman of Communist Party of Nepal- Maoist ( CPN-MC) was sworn in as the 39th Prime Minister of Nepal on Thursday.  He took the oath of maintaining the office and secrecy at the residence of President of Nepal, Bidya Devi Bhandari.

The ceremony was held one day after he beat his opposition at the Legislature-Parliament election. He got 363 votes in his favor while 210 votes were cast against him, reported The Business Standard.

Also taking oath with him as deputy Prime Ministers were Bimalendra Nidhi of Nepali Congress and Krishna Bahadur Mahara of CPN-Maoist Centre.

The communist party leader is already facing difficulty in making a headway to the cabinet as there is a big list of aspirants. More drama followed as a senior Nepali Congress leader Arjun Narsingh KC refused to take the oath as he didn’t get the Home Ministry portfolio.

Vice-President Nanda Bahadur Pun, outgoing prime minister KP Sharma Oli, Chief Justice Sushila Karki, Speaker Onsari Gharti, were some of the attendees of the swearing-in ceremony. Former Prime Ministers, former ministers and leaders of political parties were also present for the ceremony.

Dahal who is also known as Prachanda gained prominence in 2009 when he led a guerilla war against the government and also served as the  then Prime Minister from 2008 to 2009.

Nepal’s Madhesis call off India-Nepal border blockade

Nepal’s agitated Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) called off their nearly five-month long blockade at Indo-Nepal border. The end of the protest brings about relief to the country suffering from shortages of fuels, medicines and other supplies.

A statement issued after the meeting of United Democratic Madhesi Front leaders said that considering the current crisis facing the nation and the public necessity and aspirations, the ongoing protest programmes of general strike, border blockade, government office shutdown have been called off for now. The statement also said that the agitation shall continue till the demands are addressed.

This announcement comes ahead of Prime Minister KP Oli’s Indian trip, that is scheduled on February 19, which is the first overseas visit of the new Nepalese premier.

Based in the Tarai lowlands, the Madhesi Front launched the protest in September to force Nepal’s major political parties to make amends in the new charter and give them a greater role in the power structure thus bringing about a new Constitution.

The main border point at Birgunj has seen trucks move about for the first time in more than four months on Friday after the protesters were chased away. It was opened briefly, but it was closed again. Except the border point Birgunj, trade has resumed at all other posts.

To see to it that the Madhesis participate in the parliament, Nepal made changes to the constitution. But the community leaders state that the amendments still fail to address their central fear of division of their ancestral homeland under the seven-province structure.

Sources: Reuters, DNA

India – Nepal border ties weaken due to fuel crisis



The Nepal Fuel crisis has deepened over the past few months and almost 4,000 trucks have been abandoned at the Nepal border. The protests over the country’s new constitution have strangulated the essential supplies of fuel. “It was the responsibility of the Nepal government to facilitate the entry, safety and security of the trucks rather than imposing allegations on India of blockade on the border of Nepal” said by Vikas Swarup, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson.

It’s been more than five days that the trucks are strangled on the Indian side of the border extended to 10 kilometers. The disturbed security situations on the southern Terai region of Nepal are not letting the trucks enter. There have been certain allegations made over India regarding violation of international laws and halting cross border trade. The chief of UML party comments on this by saying that there is no trade of fuel, cooking gas and vegetables from India and are annoyed by this kind of friendship between two countries

Due to the conflict between India and Nepal, the speculations are being made of importing fuel from other neighboring countries like China but getting petrol and petroleum can be difficult due to the terrain. Because of the crisis, Nepal Government has started rationing the supplies of petroleum products and also restricted it from giving it to private vehicles, said Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, a home ministry spokesman. He added that only emergency vehicles, the army and police and trucks will be excused for the supply of fuel.

Almost 100 cargo trucks entered the Nepal border from Sunauli border which carried essential goods and petroleum products.  However, the protesters continue to block entry points in the southern part of the Nepal. This protest has killed 40 people so far.

Nepal gets new Prime Minister

Kathmandu: Sushil Koirala, the President of Nepali Congress (NC) was appointed the country’s 37th Prime Minister on Monday. He became the country’s sixth Prime Minister since the country became republic in the year 2008. He faces the biggest challenge of delivering a new constitution within one year of assuming office.

The announcement came three months after the elections were conducted in November in which his party won with a two-third majority. The delay in appointment was due to the logjam between NC and Unified Marxist-Leninist (UML) party over power sharing and a demand for fresh elections for appointing President and Vice President.

He is expected to be sworn in as Prime Minister on Wednesday thus replacing the interim government that was headed by the country’s Chief Justice, Khil Raj Regmi. Mr. Koirala belongs to Nepal’s first political family and is the fourth Koirala to be taking charge of the country.

Koirala speaks with media personnel during a news conference after filing his nomination for the post of prime minister for the election to be held on Monday at the Parliament Secretariat in Kathmandu

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