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New constitution for Nepal today, public holiday declared!

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Kathmandu: As an unprecedented initiative, Nepal will promulgate its first-full democratic constitution on Sunday drawn up after years of political infighting.

Photo credit: foxnews.com
Photo credit: foxnews.com

The new constitution, which defines the Himalayan nation as a secular country and federal republic with seven states, is the six-decade-long cherished dream of Nepalese to see a charter through the Constituent Assembly (CA).

Hundreds of thousands of people across Nepal were lighting lamps in the rejoice of the new constitution, even as the government declared public holiday on Sunday and Monday to mark the occasion.

President Ram Baran Yadav will promulgate the constitution, endorsed by over 90 per cent votes in the CA, at a function in the assembly building.

Hundreds of security personnel have been deployed in capital Kathmandu to maintain law and order, as some parties and groups have been opposed to the new constitution.

Sections like Madheshis, Tharus, pro-Hindu and breakaway faction of UCPN (Maoist) have opposed the constitution.

Nepal has decided to opt for a secular, democratic, republicanism and federal structure in 2007 through the interim constitution. But with the installation of new constitution on Sunday, Nepal will formally institutionalise these four key highlights.

With the promulgation of the new constitution, there will be fresh election to the top posts like president, vice president, prime minister, speaker and deputy speaker of parliament within a month.

The assembly would dissolve and convert into a regular parliament.

According to the new constitution, the executive rights of the country shall vest on the council of ministers while the president would be ceremonial head-of-the-state.

The preamble of the new constitution says: “Realising a dream cherished by the Nepali people since the past 65 years, the new constitution will formally take the country towards a federal structure from the existing unitary structure that remained rooted in the country for 240 years.”

The new statute has proposed to federate the country into seven federal units, which will be one of the significant changes to occur on the basis of the new constitution.

The new constitution also expresses the determination to build an equitable society on the basis of the principle of proportional inclusion and participation, by ensuring economic equality, prosperity and social justice.

The preamble of the constitution also mentions people’s competitive multi-party democratic system, civic freedom, fundamental rights, voting rights, full press freedom, independent, fair and competent judiciary and building of a prosperous nation with the commitment to socialism based on rule of law.

In 2008, the Maoists had won elections to the constituent assembly, leading to the abolition of the 240-year-old monarchy. But amid squabbling, the assembly failed to draw up a new constitution.

(With inputs from IANS)

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9 Climbers Pulled From Snow After A Sudden Storm On Mount Gurja, Nepal

Mountaineering experts are questioning how the experienced team was so badly hit at their base camp at 3,500 meters.

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Mount Gurja
Tourists take pictures at Sarangkot in Pokhara, with the view of the Mount Annapurna range in the background, some 200 km (124 miles) west of Kathmandu, Nov. 30, 2008. Annapurna, at 8,091 meters high, is the 10th highest mountain in the world.. VOA

A rescue team Sunday began retrieving the bodies of nine climbers killed in a violent storm on Nepal’s Mount Gurja, a freak accident that has left the mountaineering community reeling.

A helicopter dropped four mountain guides at the camp where the South Korean climbing expedition was staying when powerful winds and snow swept through, killing the entire team and scattering their bodies as far as 500 meters (yards) away.

“All nine bodies have been found and the team are in the process of bringing them down,” said Siddartha Gurung, a chopper pilot who is coordinating the retrieval mission.

Mount Gurja
A helicopter dropped four mountain guides at the camp.

A second helicopter along with a team of rescue specialists and villagers were also involved in the mission, which has been hampered by strong winds as well as the camp’s remoteness in the Dhaulagiri mountain range of Nepal’s Annapurna region.

The bodies of the climbers, five South Koreans and four Nepalis, will be flown to Pokhara, a tourist hub that serves as a gateway to the Annapurna region, and then to Kathmandu, said Yogesh Sapkota of Simrik Air, a helicopter company involved in the effort.

‘Like a bomb went off’

The expedition’s camp was destroyed by the powerful storm, which hit the area late Thursday or Friday, flattening all the tents and leaving a tangled mess of tarpaulin and broken polls.

“Base camp looks like a bomb went off,” said Dan Richards of Global Rescue, a U.S.-based emergency assistance group that will be helping with the retrieval effort.

Mount Gurja
Wangchu Sherpa of Trekking Camp Nepal, organised the expedition

The expedition was led by experienced South Korean climber Kim Chang-ho, who has climbed the world’s 14 highest mountains without using supplemental oxygen.

Experts puzzled

Mountaineering experts are questioning how the experienced team was so badly hit at their base camp at 3,500 meters.

Also Read: Nepal Saves Its Tiger Population, Doubles It

“At this point we don’t understand how this happened. You don’t usually get those sorts of extreme winds at that altitude and base camps are normally chosen because they are safe places,” Richards said.

The team had been on 7,193-meter (23,599-foot) Mount Gurja since early October, hoping to scale the rarely climbed mountain via a new route. (VOA)