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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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Fear of Leprosy Resurgence in Nepal

There are only three staff working in the leprosy section and the same team looks after the disability programme, as well, he told the newspaper

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Leprosy, Wikimedia

Health officials in Nepal fear leprosy resurgence in the country with prevalence rate reaching 0.94 per cent in 2018.

Leprosy-free status was given to the Himalayan nation after it declared elimination of the disease in 2009. However, that status could be lost if prevalence rate reaches one per cent of total population, Kathmandu Post reported on Thursday.

Experts already fear that this marks the resurgence of the disease in Nepal. The percentage could be more, an official said, as the current given figures have been derived just from preliminary data.

The Leprosy Control and Disability (LCD) section of Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD) of Department of Health Services said that the prevalence rate was 0.92 and 0.89 in 2017 and 2016, respectively, the news report said.

“It will be a great setback for the country if it loses the status,” said Rabindra Baskota, a doctor and chief of the LCD section.

Incubation period of leprosy varies from one to 20 years and diagnosis of more patients could help stop the further spread of the disease, according to him.

An amputated leg, claw toes and claw hands of leprosy patient Gopal Bag are seen at the Leprosy Mission Trust India hospital. Kolkata. VOA

“It will take only a couple of years to reach one percent if this upward trend continues,” he added.

The prevalence rate is over one per cent in various districts of the Tarai region, Baskota said, adding that the country had received the leprosy eliminated status, after reducing its prevalence rate by 0.77 per cent, in 2009.

Sishir Silwal, a focal person for the leprosy control programme in Gulmi district, said regular review meetings for leprosy, which should be held every four months, has not been held for the last eight months.

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Kathmandu Post quoted Bibek Kumar Lal, Director at EDCD, as saying that there is a severe crunch in manpower that hinders proper functioning.

There are only three staff working in the leprosy section and the same team looks after the disability programme, as well, he told the newspaper.

Leprosy, a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, is transmitted through nasal secretion or from droplets from the mouth. It affects the skin, peripheral nerves and eyes, leading to disfigurement and nerve damage. The disease is curable with a multi-drug therapy. (IANS)