Showing posts with label nepali news in english. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nepali news in english. Show all posts

Friday, February 15, 2019

Nepal: How to check your license status online?

KATHMANDU — Department of Transport Management (DoTM), the government body that issues driving licenses, has initiated a new system to inform the people about the results of their driving license test and information on smart card print status through SMS.

Lawanya Kumar Dhakal, Director General of DoTM, and Arvind Sah, Managing Director of Sparrow SMS signed an agreement recently amid a ceremony organized at DoTM head office in Minbhawan, Kathmandu and jointly launched the system.

Inaugurating the system, Dhakal expressed confidence that use of ICT will be very effective in informing license aspirants about the test results and license print status.

DoTM had begun distribution of smart driving license from December 2015. Unlike conventional driving licenses, these digital driving licenses incorporate electronic chips similar to SIM cards and contain information about the driver’s identity. Any individual passing the written exam for acquiring a driving license and successfully completing the ‘trial’ is eligible to receive the smart cards.

The department has also recently started an online application process for driving license in Nepal. To support this, the department is using SMS service for showing driving license results for written tests and driving license status. Before this, people had to visit the DoTM office to see the result and get the information for the licensed print status.

Now, people don’t need to visit the Transportation department to check the status regarding their driving license print status and written exam result. This will end long queues in transportation offices for getting just the simple information. People can receive the information by sending SMS to 33001 for just Rs 5.

To check result for written test, users have to type ‘WT <space> [Application ID number]’ and Send it to 33001.

Similarly, to check smart driving license print status, users have to type ‘LC <space> [Application ID Number]’ and Send it to 33001.

An average of 3,000 users applies for the smart driving license on every working day.

The post Nepal: How to check your license status online? appeared first on News, sport and opinion from the Kathmandu Tribune's global edition.

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Nepal, A Caring Lap for the Mentally Sick and Depressed

“So, here is the shocking truth: In Nepal, a handicap often turns out to become a ticket for a short life of suffering in the streets.” Thanks to a few social heroes, this may no longer be the only outcome.

In 2011 it was reported that more than 30, 000 Nepali suffered from a mental disorder. A number obviously higher in reality…

This result, originating from an official report submitted by the Nepal Bureau of Statistics, cannot be trusted because most of the ones suffering from a handicap, secretly become victims who are not officially reported. The main reason being, cultural isolation of differences that stains the Nepali solidarity.

So, here is the shocking truth: In Nepal, a handicap often turns out to become a ticket for a short life of suffering in the streets.

Indeed, a lot of inhabitants see physical and mental differences as an economic burden not worth supporting, which results in the abandonment of men, women but also children… Most of which are regrouped in the Kathmandu district and the Indian border.

The term “mental disability” refers to both an intellectual disability and the consequences it has on a daily basis.” Mental disability is reflected by significant difficulties of “reflection, conceptualization, communication, decision-making…” These difficulties must be compensated by “permanent and progressive human support, adapted to the person’s state and situation.” So, It is up to collective solidarity to recognize and guarantee this compensation. But in Nepal, these people can only count on the support of a few brave volunteers…

Nepal Snehi Kaakha

Shreenaha Pokharel is one of this rare person to see handicap as a duty to adapt and help rather than to ignore. In her own words, taking care of people suffering is not a burden but a blessing.

In 2010, she saw a sick and hungry man on the side road. Her empathy forced her to offer him clean water. The next day it was food. The following days she started talking, treating and cleaning him.

He didn’t say anything, but I saw tears of joys in his eyes. It gave me goosebumps.” Helping those in need didn’t only felt satisfying, it felt right.

Since that day she has put all her time in an effort towards those in need.

She founded a center for the mentally ill people who are the most vulnerable in this violent abusing context crawling through the dark streets of our society. Her volunteers and herself provide them with a safe shelter, food, clothing, medicine, education… “to reenergize the human spirit

All these individuals now living in her safe nest, where all abandoned by their families. Some of the women were forced to eat their own hear and feces in order to fight starvation and stay alive one more day. Desperately grabbing a fin rope of hope, getting more and more fragile as the days pass. Consequently, most of the people rescued suffer from severe depression.

They are not only mentally ill but also physically sick. Drinking highly polluted water, toxic infected food left on the sidewalk, not having access to basic hygiene for years… The list of drastic conditions adds up into symptoms of their body slowly shutting down. It is even harder to stay healthy when the mind doesn’t even care anymore if the machine that carries it stops working.

One of the women arrived with an advanced form of cancer disfiguring her from the neck. She has now been treated but will never be able to use her voice in full capacity ever again.

They are also 7 children suffering from the same faith… Some of them, are children of the saved women, living in the care center to treat their depression. Most have been raped in the streets, and these children are at the time a sad result of these unspeakable acts and a heartwarming treatment for their souls.

Because safe-esteem is the most important part of the healing process. Helping them realize they are safe, independent and can be an active citizen once treated and educated.

And the results prove that her housewarming shelter is a New Start for these Women: 27 of them have been able to reunite with their families or re-enter society since the opening of Nepal Caring Lap.

But still, 12 men, 29 Women, and 7 children need generous support and presence in order to one day fly away with their own wings… And this is only in one Center! They are still thousands waiting for a generous hand to lead them out of their misery.

Readers, you too can join these helpers.

A lot of Nepali make the beautiful decision to celebrate their birthdays in these centers. They also bring food, clothing, and most importantly smiles!

The post Nepal, A Caring Lap for the Mentally Sick and Depressed appeared first on News, sport and opinion from the Kathmandu Tribune's global edition.

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Friday, February 8, 2019

LET’S CLEAN UP NEPAL: A New Green Responsible Initiative

The World is Changed by your examples, not by your opinions

The Environmental issues of Nepal are slowly starting to be acknowledged by its population. Hopefully, this will start to lead the Nepali people towards some positive changes, and therefore, a greener tomorrow for the kingdom of heaven! But what we are witnessing are only the first small steps forward, on a path that will take decades and strong general goodwill, before its brave participants perceive its never-ending finish line… Today we will talk about one of the visionaries, and maybe dreamers, leading the environmental cleaning march. Showing Nepali the way to a change of mentalities regarding their bad habits with Trash.

“Here, in Nepal, there is still a lack of education about the environment…” Raj, Founder of Let’s Clean Up Nepal

Raj is a 30 years old vigorous mountain guide. Enthusiastic, altruistic, and selflessly ambitious, he believes Nepal can be cleaner. And he has decided to dedicate his life to ensure so. His project “Lets Clean Up Nepal !” is one of many he has for the future of his beloved homeland. We will come back on his inspiring story shortly.

Firstly, what he has done so far, needs to be put forward. Because this guy is not just small talk…

Since October 2017, Raj has organized, participated and lead approximately 20 events around Nepal (Tilicho Lake, Thamel, Everest, Upper Mustang, Bagmati River, Swoyembhunath Temple…)  and even around the World (Switzerland, Thailand…). His clean Up missions in Base Camps or touristic areas are not his only field of actions. He also plants trees, puts in place awareness campaigns in schools, and sensibilise the international traveler’s community to his countries problems. But Raj doesn’t stop at the word “problem” for which he always has an “answer” or a “solution”.

“Our intentions are not only to go one place and clean, but we also want to spread a message all over Nepal. And the world! Because trash is not only a Nepali problem !” Raj.

 

In Nepal, Kathmandu is known as the 5th most polluted capital in the World. Sacred places, mountains, and rivers are filling up in a soon irreversible amount or organic and plastic hazard. It is estimated there is between 800 and 1000 tons of garbage per day produced by the Valley…

“That’s what local people do, they eat and throw. We don’t care about our nature”

Tell us your story Raj:

“My name is Raj. When I moved in Kathmandu 13 years ago, I started doing small business, to work a little bit. It was very hard to feed ourselves in the city you know. I needed to fish if I wanted to eat. After a few years, everything started to go well for me. But, I was tired of this pollution, dust…

You know everything is a mess in the city of Kathmandu. We, most of the Nepali, we have a big dream to change our life and home. Go to college to get educated… and then go abroad. [Leave the mess behind us…]

But my vision was not that. I took everything the simple way.

I was studying management at that time. But I was not happy with my story. Me, I love to explain, talk to the people, every single moment I want to talk. That’s my passion. So, I would work and always watch adventure movies, reading adventure blogs, [hoping to one day write my own].

So, I said to myself: why do I do this job, just sitting around doing nothing. I decided: ok, interest needs to come from the heart. So I changed and started to do trekking. And then I made friends with the tourists, and I would go with them to travel. I love foreigners because I want to know more about the world. […] I want to know their experience of Nepal.

Every tourist, when they come to Nepal, they have a lot of expectations. Because when you search for Nepal on the internet first you see nice pictures, otherwise you would not come.

My intention if someone expects something by coming to Nepal we need to fulfill it.

Last time I went to Annapurna, I was like any tourist: I expected too much. I heard: a nice sunrise, nice sunset, but I had never been there.

And then when we went with my friends, at first, from far away it looked beautiful…Then when we arrived they were trash everywhere!

My friends were asking: Oh my god what is this? Do people don’t care?

And I had to answer: That’s what local people do, they eat and throw. We don’t care about our nature.

This day I promise her: One day I will bring some change for Nepali People. I want to do something for this planet. I will not let more mess than today!”

“How can Nepal change if even young people don’t understand there is a problem.”

So you think it starts with mentalities?

“[…] After a few months, I was outside, going home, eating a banana

And when I finished I asked myself; where should I put this banana peel? There are no bins, nowhere.

On the way, they were a shop. Where three women and one man were sitting in front. I saw a plastic bag and I went to put the banana peel in it.

And they started shouting so much! Because they said: Why do you put it here !? We are not here to clean your trash, you shouldn’t put it here! we are not here waiting for you to clean your mess. they started threatening me! [they preferred I throw it in the street than in their trash !]

I tried to explain [Why it is not normal]. But they didn’t listen, and again they shouted. So I had to pick it up. I took it back to my room.

The people who shouted were very young… And I thought to myself: Oh my god, how can Nepal change if even young people don’t understand there is a problem.

So I felt very sad that night. I couldn’t sleep.

At first, I was discouraged, but then I started learning a  lesson. And I kept asking myself how can we change?

After a few days, I went back to the mountain. Again trash everywhere, people burning trash or throwing it away in the river… I collected plastic on the way and gave it to women and asked: “can you collect it recycle it? and she started burning it…” [That’s when I understood I must only pick up but educate]

 

“We have dirty mountain a messy city, but why not clean it! Let’s clean up Nepal !”

When did Let’s Clean Up Nepal really started?

I was with a French friend, Christine. She is very strong but slower than me. So while I was waiting I started picking up trash. I did that for eleven days. I kept saying to myself:

We have a dirty mountain, a messy city, but why not clean it! Let’s clean up Nepal! The message was born.

I asked a Spanish friend to create a page on Facebook for the initiative. And with internet things starting to move very fast!

“Raj is a man of great heart with great humility. He is concerned about all the problems that can be encountered in Nepal, he is not only making noise, but he also acts. All his projects are structured and not only have a real logic but also a real solution. Solutions that are for the future. It’s a philosophy of “acting now, for tomorrow” Kevin, a French Eco-Tourist currently working with him.

Raj is not the only person fighting to clean up the highest mesmerizing landscapes Nepal has to offer. But spotlights need to be facing the important actor of the environmental cause, in order to spread awareness, which is the first step to deep and long-term change.

The government is also expected to show more support to these association they ignore. And drastic measures have to be taken. The economic touristic future of the country depends on it, as much as it’s citizen healths…

And you, think about it next time you throw something in the street or the mountains. Don’t wait for people such as Raj to pick it up. Nepal doesn’t need more volunteer cleaners but less trash left behind for them to pick up.

The post LET’S CLEAN UP NEPAL: A New Green Responsible Initiative appeared first on News, sport and opinion from the Kathmandu Tribune's global edition.

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Investment summit to showcase more studied projects: Nepali official

KATHMANDU (Xinhua) — Nepalese government is planning to showcase over two dozen studied projects in the upcoming Investment Summit 2019, three times increase compared to the previous one held in 2017, to attract more Foreign Directive Investment (FDI), a senior official of the government said recently.

“In the previous summit, there were only eight studied projects. This time, however, we are offering more projects – small and big,” Maha Prasad Adhikari, chief executive officer (CEO) of Investment Board Nepal (IBN) told Xinhua in an exclusive interview this week.

According to the head of the government body, during the second summit slated for March 29-30 in the capital Kathmandu, the projects to be introduced to potential investors include cold storage projects in each of all seven provinces recommended by provincial governments, film city project, bus rapid system in Kathmandu, and Lumbini Maternity Hospital, among others.

There are some hydro-power projects to see the light such as Tamor Hydro, West Seti Hydro, Uttar Ganga Hydro and Arun 4 Hydro. Foreign funds are also expected to pour into the tourism sector such as cable car and regional airport.

“There is an interest to develop an international airport from a foreign government,” said Adhikari.

“We have also called on the Nepali private sector to come up with the projects which could attract foreign investors for possible business to business deals.”

During the last investment summit, foreign investors signed letter of intent (LoI) worth 13.52 billion U.S. dollars. But actual investment remained small.

To provide more facilities for FDI, the Nepali government is working to revise around two dozen laws including Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act before the summit. Key features of these laws are going to be deliberated during the thematic sessions of the event.

At the same time, the Nepali government aims to issue Expression of Interest (EoI) notices related to some hydro-power projects so that investors could participate in bid during the event. “More notices on providing license of exploration of the mines will be issued before the summit,” said Adhikari.

Adhikari said it is good timing to find greener pasture in Nepal since there is a stable government with reform process undergoing and investment environment on the growing hand.

The CEO added that Nepal is again banking on Chinese investors for large amount in the March summit.

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Venezuela crisis explained: a tale of two presidents

Daniel Hellinger, Webster University

Venezuela finds itself with two presidents engaged in a high-stakes game to control the country’s future. The country has also had two “national assemblies” and many questions about how the constitution should be applied. So, how did it find itself in this position?

President Nicolás Maduro claims to be Venezuela’s constitutional president because he won the presidential election in July 2018.

On Jan. 23, 2019 Juan Guaidó, one month after becoming president of Venezuela’s National Assembly, disputed Maduro’s legitimacy and declared the presidency vacant. He then took an oath to serve as the interim president of Venezuela.

Guaidó v Maduro

Although involved in politics since 2009, Guaidó was until recently little known outside political circles. A member of the Voluntad Popular (“Popular Will”) party, he was an understudy to Leopoldo López, the party’s leader who is currently imprisoned for allegedly encouraging violent protests seeking the ousting of Maduro.

The 1999 Bolivarian Constitution, written in the first year of the administration of President Hugo Chávez, fulfilled a promise Chávez made in his successful 1998 presidential campaign to replace the constitution of 1991. Most Venezuelans had come to see the earlier constitution as a democratic façade, serving the interests of a corrupt, wealthy ruling elite that controlled the only two parties with any chance of winning power through elections.

Maduro was Chávez’s vice president and the clear choice to succeed him after his death in March 2013, only five months after winning an election for a third term. Elections during the Chávez years were criticized by observers, such as the Carter Center, for the government favoritism in the campaigns, but most saw the vote count as honest.

Chávez won easily due to strong support among the country’s poor majority, who benefited from social programs funded by the country’s oil bounty, which before Chávez mostly went to the wealthy and middle class.

Maduro’s unusual elections

The Maduro era has seen more questions arise about the fairness of campaigns, but also about official results. Despite Chavez’s blessing, with 50.6% of the vote, Maduro barely won the special election to replace the deceased leader.

Maduro’s political standing plunged further in mid-2014 when the price of oil, which can vary from 20 to 40% of GDP in a given year, collapsed, falling from US$130 to US$30 per barrel in late 2015.

In December 2015 Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) suffered a severe defeat in the National Assembly elections of December 2015. The opposition won a supermajority of seats, enough to undo the programs of the Chávez era. Much of the opposition had participated in a failed coup in 2002 and never accepted the 1999 constitution, but all now embraced it as a tool to try to remove Maduro.

They gathered enough signatures to force a recall election upon Maduro, but the PSUV used delaying tactics to ensure that an opposition win would result in the vice president taking over. The recall effort faded away.

The opposition-controlled National Assembly began to act to slow or end Chavez’s programs and to limit Maduro’s power. The country’s Supreme Court, filled with PSUV appointees, used a dispute over the election of three assembly deputies to rule that the body was unconstitutionally abusing its power and threatened to close-down the unicameral Congress.

A legislature stripped of its powers

Maduro instead decided to convene a new National Constituent Assembly (NCA) to rewrite the constitution and create what Chávez himself had called the “communal state.” This state would theoretically shift much power over policies and state spending (generated almost entirely by oil exports) to local and regional citizens councils.

To do this, Maduro used a vague phrase in Article 348 of the constitution that says: “The initiative for calling a National Constituent Assembly may emanate from the President of the Republic sitting with the Cabinet of Ministers.”

The opposition refused to participate in the election (turnout was 41%) of delegates to the NCA; it is almost entirely composed of Maduro supporters. On August 8, 2017, the NCA took legislative powers for itself, away from the National Assembly, under Article 349 of the existing constitution, which is intended to avoid obstruction of a constitutional assembly’s work.

Venezuela’s electoral authorities scheduled the May 2018 presidential election half-a-year early. Though constitutional, the timing made it difficult for the deeply divided opposition to choose its candidate. A large faction boycotted the vote; another backed a candidate, the governor of an important state.

Maduro won with 67.8%. The turnout was 46.7%, low by Venezuelan standards. Maduro claims this election makes him the legitimate president and accuses the opposition, the United States, and other foreign governments, of fomenting a coup.

Guaidó claims to be the constitutional interim president after the National Assembly declared the presidency to be “vacant” under Article 233 of the constitution, which allows for an interim president to replace a sitting president “upon abandonment of his position, duly declared by the National Assembly.”

Guaidó defends his action as a constitutional route out of the country’s economic and political crises; his move has been endorsed by much of the mainstream news media in liberal democracies. Maduro has highlighted that he won an election, and Guaidó has not. Guaidó promised he would call elections once he has actual control of government.

Why did both presidents try so hard to justify their status as “constitutional” when almost everyone agrees the military holds the keys to power? For one thing, many in the military feel it’s their job to uphold the constitution. And both sides wanted to appeal to international public opinion.

Both sides wanted the support of Venezuelans in the poor urban neighborhoods and countryside, who see the 1999 constitution as guaranteeing their right, won under Chavez, to be politically included in determining the country’s future.

Daniel Hellinger, Professor Emeritus of International Relations, Webster University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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SHAILUNG, a Beautiful Travel Only in Nepal

The Lost Balcony delivering  on The Himalayas

Shailung is a beautiful remote mountain rural municipality in the Center of Nepal. Hardly ever visited by foreign tourists, and still unknown from most inside travelers. The Valley hides the richest and most colorful cultural aspects Nepal has to offer.

After a day of Jeep, a day of Hicking, and a beautiful sunrise on the Himalayan chain, we were invited in one of its villages as a “Guest of Honour” during their New Years celebration. A magical experience we will forever carry. And a perfect illustration of the human treasures these mountains protect.

In only 48 hours, you as well, you can live inside one of the countries most beautiful paintings!

By reading this article, you will have an overview of the experience that awaits those ready to explore this region… And admire a few pictures brought back only for your eyes.

We hope this will inspire some of our readers to be the next one(s). And help the local heritage to be maintained.

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Which way you’ll have to take to live this unique experience?

With exactly 128.67 kilometers square of land, it is easy to get lost in Shailung! But first, you have to arrive there.

Leaving Kathmandu, follow the Aranikho highway towards Dohlaka.

On the way, don’t hesitate to stop in the local villages to drink tasty organic coffee and tea. Especially if you need something to keep you up during the morning drive. As for passengers, don’t miss the opportunity of a car ride through the Bagmati Central Region countryside, where there is always a theatrical scene of Nepal being played.

At 900 meters above the sea level, the lowest Rural municipality you’ll encounter is Chanrnawat Dham. Then, you will have to follow the mountains earth roads in order to appreciate the highest point a view, in Shailung and it’s surroundings.

In Shailung itself, you will easily find Guesthouses where for a reasonable price you will have a nice bed, hot water, and delicious local food such as Dhido. A chance to take rest after this long 5 or 6-hour journey, and be ready for your next day of exploration.

Maybe a drink of Tongba, traditional drink alcoholic beverage of the Lumba culture, will help socialize with the locals before having a good night of sleep.

Sun Rise on the Himalaya, A Glimpse of Paradise.

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Wake Up at 5 o’clock a.m, put on some warm clothing, find a local who knows the way, and please go see that amazing morning light the sunrise offers while reaching the mountain tops.

After a bumpy Jeep ride, an hour or two of walking, you will be able to witness the rooftop of our world, as the sun brushes the summits with a dark amber blaze. A unique scenery, not a many can brag to have lived.

Once on top of the mountain, you will be at an altitude of 3145 meters. Above the lowest clouds, floating in a Nepali dream formed by a rich biodiversity, green layouts, and challenging rock paths to follow.

A Sacred Place

Continue your journey towards the highest summit of “the Mountain with a hundred hills”. You will find a view tower and Religious Architecture, hard to miss.

The faithful can pray and meditate while listening to the wind sing its eternal song.

Shailung, is one of the most important religious and historical areas of the Dolakha District. People practice Buddhism, Hindu, and Bon. It is told (but not confirmed) that Buddha Sanghe Mhamorche shared is knowledge in these mountains after meditating in its fresh embrace. Thus, the first name carried by the municipality “Sangelung” Gods whispers.

The adventurous and curious can explore the numerous stone formations hidden between the 100 hills, take pictures facing the great emptiness of the sky, reaching the Himalayan mountain wall, under the multicolored banners. Those who like a bit more action can play in the fresh crispy snow!

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Then go visits the cultural magic of Its valleys.

Mountains are not the only thing Shailung municipality has to offer…

We were lucky to be Guests of Honour during the New Years celebration of a small village. Dances were organized, politics talked, food and drinks were served. These people know how to offer hospitality. Their warm welcome is a blessing. Beautiful smiles are shared, while memories are forever saved.

This Year, the village was celebrating the New Year of the Pig. A moment enjoyed by every age group of the valley.

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Local Political figures attended the ceremony, in order to share their visions and ideas regarding the future of the district. Tourism playing a great part in it.

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Traditional music was played, followed by the villager’s voices and cheers! This man is playing local melodies with his Damphu Drum.

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They are 10 thousand women in the rural municipality (more than 50% of the population). They make the most of the occasion by putting out their most beautiful flashy floral dresses, and shiny jewelry.

A Growing Region

In Shailung, around 90% of the families depend on agricultural activities. The breed of Yaks and sheep are the most popular on hillsides. Consequently, selling dairy products is the first source of income in this area.

The Government recently announced that main roads joining the important villages are soon to be black-topped, even if no official date has been released for the project. This will make connections and visit easier in the future.

As for education, the rural district can count 39 schools, but only one High School.

Also, it is important to note there are 6 health points and one police station. Safety and security are assured on a small scale.

Politicians are very positive regarding their future development projects, but proofs of advancement are still needed to be shown. Tourism is an economical key that can profit to everyone and would push forward the progress.

You have enjoyed this Article? You want to see or learn more about Shailung? Go and visit Nepal Tribune Media’s video pages on Youtube and on the internet. You will find amazing videos with explanations and interviews! On www.ntmdigitaltv.com

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Nepal, Another Women Dies While Exiled During Her Periods

The illegal practice of chhaupadi has made its fourth victim in only the first month of 2019… Despite its strict interdiction put forward in 2005.

The young 21 years old Parbati Bogati, passed away a few days ago after suffocating inside a “period hut” in a remote area of western Nepal. A casualty in an ideological war, based on the persistence of old cruel cultural traditions. Such as this recurrent obligation, dictating women must stay away pending the end of her menstrual cycle. During this time, she is considered tainted and impure. She can’t touch food, water, or enter a temple. And whoever comes in direct contact with here will be damned and unlucky as a consequence.

A violent form of discrimination, slowing down the path to gender equality, which also has a direct impact on the mental and physical health of its subjects.

Why is it still persisting?

Some would suggest that the condemnation of 3 months of prison and 2000 rupees fine, passed through a bill the last August, is not threatening enough.

The silent of the victims is also a strong factor. Forced by the social pressure to comply. Growing up in a context where they are lead to think this is “normal”.

And even then, they would need to be arrested:

Last month, when Amba Bohara and here two children died in a period hut; after lighting a fire to keep warm and dying of suffocation as the smock could not evacuate from the sealed hut, no arrests have been made since. And no apparent investigation is in progress.

In 2010 a government survey reported they are still 19% of women between 15 and 49 years old concerned. In the most remote districts, especially in the west and near the Indian border, practicing a strong traditional Hinduism, up to 1 out of 2 women can be forced to go through that monthly process.

What are the solutions?

Awareness! It is the first open door to progress. People need to be informed. To understand the choices they have, the rights their a due, and the inconsiderate risks they take.

In the case of Parbati Bogati, she was alone when the accident occurred. “Because her Husband is working aboard in Malaysia”. Chef of policed, announced the fact inviting us to think it was her fault and thus the reason the investigation will not go any further.

Lal Bahadur Dhami, assures that local government is doing everything in its power to inform people about the dangers. With more than 50 programs of prevention dispatched around the country.

But according to her family, Parbati Bogati attended to one of them a few days before her tragic death.

Feminist associations have decided to take things into their own hands, as the government proved itself to be useless. They announced they will start the destruction of many “period huts” around the country during the next month.

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Peter Dalglish’s final hearing coming to an end

KATHMANDU — A source told Kathmandu Tribune that Canadian Peter Dalglish’s final hearing is likely to happen at the end of this month or in the first week of March.

Dalglish was arrested last year for pedophilia charges. If convicted he will serve a minimum sentence of seven years in jail.

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International Development Institute (IDI) signed a MOU with Municipal Association of Nepal (MUAN) to partner in training and capacity building of local municipalities.

KATHMANDU — International Development Institute (IDI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Municipal Association of Nepal (MUAN) to partner in training and capacity building of local municipalities of Nepal. Roshan Ghimire, IDI Country Coordinator of Nepal, and Ashok Kumar Byanju Shrestha, President of MUAN and the Mayor of Dhulikhel Municipality, signed an MOU in a ceremony in Kathmandu Wednesday, 30 January 2019.

MUAN, established in 1994, is an umbrella organization representing entire municipalities of Nepal. All 293 municipalities including metropolitan and sub Metropolitan cities of Nepal are members of MuAN. Organization safeguards the common interests of advocacy and lobbying and advisory support to municipalities.

Now, after signing of an MOU, IDI aims to explore opportunities for extending learning services and plans to organize exposure visits and facilitation of leadership development programs and activities for MUAN members, which includes mayors, deputy mayors and staffs in local government.

IDI is interested in collaborating especially in capacity building training catered and customized to support the unique needs of local government. Training will be focused in the field of urban planning, city coding, zoning, the education system, accessibility and beautification of the city. IDI will create a blended learning participatory approach training package catered to fit all kind of members,  and also planning exposure visits to different small and medium-sized cities in the United States. Institute plans to provide technical and strategic consulting and assistance in the form of facilitating opportunities for strengthening MUAN capacity regarding providing learning services and knowledge sharing.

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Friday, February 1, 2019

Friday, January 25, 2019

‘Gulafsangako Prem’ – a collection of short stories launched in Kathmandu

KATHMANDU — A new book ‘Gulafsangako Prem’ – a collection of short stories by Dr. Sangita Swechcha launched in Kathmandu by Chief Guest legendary writer Tulasi Diwasa and other writers Sushmita Nepal, Shekhar Kharel and Nirmal Kumar Thapa.

‘The 20 stories in the book give a variety of flavor and twists and turns of lives in this story collection book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book’, said Tulasi Diwasa.

He added: “I generally read less and read few stories in a book and speak more at a function but the stories in this book fascinated me reading all although initially thought to read just a few from the book. I must say this book has a weight and it is an addition to Nepali literature as a good literary book.”

Similarly, Sushmita Nepal said, “I loved all the stories and many of the stories touched my heart. Stories written in child psychology such as ‘Lauren ka daddyharu’ and a story about a teenage girl ‘Aparichit telephone number’ are really nice ones and I insist you read all the stories from this book”.

“The stories in the book are not like any reader assumes while reading them. Many of the stories have surprising twists that the readers don’t even expect to happen and that is the beauty of Sangita’s stories,” said Shekhar Kharel.

Nirmal Kumar Thapa said, “Delighted to bring this book to publication as a president of Color Nepal and I hope you too will enjoy reading stories as I did”.

The book was published by Color Nepal, a literary publication house based in Nepal.

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British man Iain Robert Cole arrested for pedophilia in Kathmandu

KATHMANDU — A British national, Iain Robert Cole (50), has been arrested by CIB Nepal on Saturday at 4 a.m. in the morning. He was arrested from Ravi Bhawan, Kalimati, Kathmandu from his fourth-floor apartment.

CIB also found three victims at his apartment during the arrest. Cole was arrested after sixteenth attempt since 2009.

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Kotdada: One of the unknown place to visit near Kathmandu Valley

Visually Nepal — Kotdada, Lalitpur.

Despite being a beautiful height it is still unknown to many outdoor as well as indoor travelers. Kotdada is a famous height located at the southern part of Kathmandu valley. From the top of the place, you can have a beautiful view of all three cities of Kathmandu valley i.e. Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur which of course will cherish your heart and soul.

Kot dada is located in Lalitpur only 12 KMs from away Satdobato. Once you get to Sathdobato you head straight to the Godavari along the way you will reach Hadegaun, Godamchaur, Bishankhu Narayan Temple to finally Kot dada. After 20 to 30 minutes of local vehicle ride, you reach Hadegaun, Lalitpur you have to leave Godavari Highway and head towards East. Then you go to Godamchour or you can directly get a bus heading towards Godamchour from Sathdobato or Lagankhel. From Godamchour you go straight uphill, little like forest walk with villages and the beautiful view of Kathmandu and Lalitpur by your left. Then you reach Bishankhu Narayan temple, the temple of a Hindu God Bishnu. Make sure you visit this temple, it is located at a beautiful place with a cave believed that it can recognize good or evil. There is a story that when a Devil almost killed Bishnu, Bishnu ran away, he made it through the cave whereas the devil was trapped. People still believe this story and go through the cave to assure themselves that they are not evil.

After you visit Bishankhu Narayan Temple you take the road going uphill and go to the top of the Temple. We can also take a steep straightway through the temple. Make sure you take a rest there and take a view at Kathmandu and Lalitpur. A beautiful scene that you surely will love.

Then you head straight uphill towards Kot Dada. 5 min walk from the top of Bishankhu Narayan Temple through the forest straight uphill and then you reach a village. A plain at the top of the hill with houses known as Kot Dada Village with the beautiful scene in front of your eyes. You can look at green fields, villages, hills, the beautiful sky at the South or fields, cities, hills, mountains beautiful sky at North. Locals have developed homestay to attract more internal and foreign tourist. The scene that you can’t take your eyes off. All three cities of Kathmandu valley Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur are visible from here.

By Dipesh K.C. (http://travellalitpur.blogspot.com/2018/06/kot-dada.html)

Watch the video here:

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Friday, January 18, 2019

#NepalLeaks: How 55 Nepali Business Elites, Defying Their Country’s Laws, Invested In Offshore Companies

In spite of the Act Restricting Investment Abroad, at least 55 Nepalis are found to have invested in foreign countries. Among those violating the law are a professor, doctor, former MP, political leaders and names unheard of.

 

Centre for Investigative Journalism

The Act Restricting Investment Abroad, 1964 bars Nepalis from investing in a foreign country. The details made available by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and further investigation was done by the Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) Nepal have found that 55 Nepalis have invested in foreign countries.

Among those who have invested in a foreign country are renowned traders/entrepreneurs as well as individuals unheard of. The addresses of some of them have not been traced. Those recognized as Non-Resident Nepalis (NRN) but doing businesses in Nepal were found to have invested in tax havens. The law does not bar NRNs from investing abroad, but questions have been raised about the source of their investment since they have opened offshore companies. 

The certificates of company registration by Upendra Mahato in Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands. These documents were obtained by the CIJ-Nepal in collaboration with the ICIJ.

News report on Birendra Mahato’s company was also covered by Belarusian media.

Former lawmaker Birendra Mahato 

Former lawmaker Birendra Mahato, who is currently a central member of the SanghiyaSamajbadi Forum-Nepal, has invested in the ‘OJSC Amkodor Holding Limited Company’ in Belarus. The other investors in the company are Non-resident Nepali Niraj Govinda Shrestha, Birendra’s brother Upendra Mahato, a former chairman of the Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA), and foreign partner Romeo Abdo. Abdo is also linked to the largest tax evasion scam in Nepal at Ncell.

He represented the TeliaSonera in Ncell in whose ownership transfer of nearly Rs 61 billion was evaded in tax (the amount has reached Rs 72 billion now). Abdo was the chairman of TeliaSonera while it invested in the Ncell company of Nepal. Documents show that Abdo, of Lebanese origin, has been doing business in Belarus since 1997.

Birendra Mahato admitted having invested seven years ago. “I had investments nearly seven years ago but not anymore,” he said. “I have no knowledge about the other investors from Nepal.” He said he had been living in Nepal after returning from Belarus. “I used to be a Non-resident Nepali. Not anymore,” Mahato said adding that he did not know Romeo Abdo.

Niraj, Samata, and Upendra

The 2015 Panama Papers leaks of the ICIJ showed that companies were registered in tax havens in Upendra Mahato’s name. Documents available with us show several companies owned by Upendra, his wife Samata Prasad and Niraj in different countries. In their names, investments are seen in British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, Belarus, England, and India. Among them, the companies Spartley Ventures, Pankur Finance, Tipologia, Moneystar, Amkodor, BNK, Yagyadeep, Yumi Nepal Earthquake Appeal, Nostal Business Corp and Mabel Apparelare owned by two or all three of them. Mahato did not want to comment on this.

Ajeya Raj Sumargi and Arjun Sharma

Businessman Ajeya Raj Sumargi also has investments abroad. Stelios Orphanides, the Cypriot investigative journalist affiliated with the ICIJ, provided the CIJ Nepal with the details from the ‘Department of Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver’. According to the documents, Sumargi is found to have invested in Airbell Services Limited Company of Cyprus. Located at Magnum House in Cyprus, the company incorporated in 2008 is active till now.

Certificate of company registration by businessman Ajeya Raj Sumargi in Cyprus. The CIJ-Nepal obtained the document from the company registrar’s office there.

The Airbell, registered by the law firm Magnumserve Secretary Limited’, has investors: Ajeya Raj Sumargi, Arjun Sharma [who works at Sumargi’s Nepali company Muktishree Private Limited], Zhodar InvestmentsPvt Ltd [based in the BVI], and 12 foreigners. The given address of Sumargi is Hetauda-5, Makawanpur, Nepal. Sharma has given Kamaladi Kathmandu-2 as his address.

“While registering the company in Cyprus, Sumargi has not only violated Nepali laws,  but it’s against the Cypriot laws as well. The citizens of a country that bars investments abroad can’t invest in Cyprus, too. It was essential for the Magnumserve Law firm to know about the legal prohibition for Nepalis to invest abroad,” said investigative journalism Stelios.

Sumargi and Sharma have clearly violated the laws by investing abroad. What’s more, they brought in money from their own foreign company in the name of foreign investment without seeking permission from the Nepal government authorities. According to the details made public earlier, they brought money into Nepal from their own company Airbell Services Limited in the name of foreign investment without getting permission from the Nepali authorities. According to the preliminary report prepared by the Department of Money Laundering Investigation last year, Sumargi is seen to have brought 63,185,533 US dollars into Nepal from Airbell in nine transactions between 2008 and 2013. Besides this, Sumargi has brought nearly 60 million dollars into Nepal from several other foreign companies.

Sumargi said he did not have investments in Airbell. “How am I supposed to have invested in the Cypriot Airbell company? Go ahead if you have that information in the document you’ve obtained,” he said. He claimed that he had brought in all the money from abroad formally through the government. “The owner of my telephone company is Airbell. Airbell is owned by TeliaSonera,” Sumargi said. On the partnership between Upendra Mahato and TeliaSonera, Sumargi said, “I don’t know. Ask Upendra Mahato about it.”

Sharma, the worker at Sumargi’s company, hung up the phone the moment he was asked about his own investment in the Cypriot Airbell company. On the second instance, he picked the phone but did not speak. The third time, he did not take the call. On the fourth attempt, he switched off the phone.

Family in foreign investment

Four members of the Chaudhary family are found to have invested abroad. The Ursine Limited Company has been registered in the British Virgin Islands in the name of Arun Kumar Chaudhary and his wife Shila and their sons Karan and Suryans. According to the ICIJ, the Nepal address of the company registered in 2004 is Saraswati Sadan, Thamel. Two foreign companies registered in the tax haven island Guernsey –Tenby Nominees Limited and Brock Nominees Limited–are partners with the Ursine Limited. It has not been revealed who are the shareholders in the Tenby and Brock companies.

Chaudhary maintains that the company does not exist anymore. “When my child was little, my friends in Britain had advised that it would be easy for me to send him to a school there if I opened a company in England. I did not open the company. I don’t know how the news reached the ICIJ. It put me in serious trouble.”

Rajendra Kumar Kabra and his wife RekhaKabra are two other little-known investors. They have invested in the same company. They have registered the Fragrance Town Limited company in the British Virgin Islands in 2009 mentioning Shukrapath, Kathmandu, as their address. According to the Company Registrar’s Office Tripureshwor, RajendraKabra is one of the investors of the Bhrikuti Paper Industry. The Kabra Group had no comments in the question of their foreign investment. Rekha said only her husband knew everything.

Little known investors

Even Nepalis not known in the field of entrepreneurship are known to have invested abroad. Nawang Dolma is an example. Dolma with the stated address of Jorpati-2 registered the Fix Union Holdings Limited and Golden Cymbal International Limited Company in 2012 in the British Virgin Islands. Another investor is Uma Devi Singhania, who has the Silver Retreat Limited Company registered in her name in 1998 in the British Virgin Islands.

Another little-known name is Reenuka Pradhan. Stating Chundevi-4, Kathmandu as her address, Pradhan registered the Rest Park Capital Inc in the British Virgin Islands in 2006. This company has two other Nepalis—Punam Pradhan and Ajay Prasad Pradhan–as investors. According to the ICIJ details, they have stated only Singapore as their address, without mentioning their address in Nepal.

Another name unheard of in the Nepali business world is Bimal Kazi Tamrakar. He has invested in two companies called Himalayan Investment Group and World Distribution Nepal Pvt Ltd in the British Virgin Islands. According to the ICIJ, he registered the companies in 2002 and 2003. Alongside Bimal Kazi, Bishwa Barsingh Thapa, Nabindra Joshi, and Bishwadhar Tuladhar have invested in the Himalayan Investment Group.

Other Nepalis have also invested in the World Distribution Nepal company of Tamrakar, whose address is stated as Siddhibhawan, Kantipath. According to the ICIJ, Nepali citizens Bijendra Joshi, Arun Shrestha, Tuladhar and Nabindra have stakes in this company. The World Distribution Nepal is found to have been registered in Nepal too. The company registered in Nepal in 1995 has the same shareholders. In the ‘Offshore Leaks’ shared by the ICIJ in April 2013, the nationality of the two investors Arun Shrestha and Nabindra Joshi was stated to be ‘Not Identified’. They are confirmed to be Nepali, as they are among the shareholders of the company registered by the same name in the Company Registrar’s Office of Nepal.

Arun’s wife Kalina confirmed the fact. “Ours is an IT-related company. My husband knows whether or not the company has been registered in the British Virgin Islands,” she said. “I’ll ask my husband to call you up after relaying your information.” However, Arun did not come in contact.

Another name not in public knowledge is Binu Shrestha. According to the ICIJ, she registered a company called Belwood Acres Limited in 2005 in the British Virgin Islands. The name of Nepali citizen Kishor Rana was included in the Paradise Papers revealed by the ICIJ in 2017. Rana, stating his address as Ichangu, Kathmandu, has invested in the Celestial Investments Company in the tax haven Malta. He owns all shares of the company. Nirmal Shrestha of Kathmandu-3 is found to have invested in the KRB Group of Companies in Malta in 2009.

Shyam Milan Shrestha, not a well-known name in the Nepali field of entrepreneurship, has invested in two companies in the British Virgin Islands. The companies are Sonnet Worldwide Limited and Ilinkage International Limited. Sonnet Worldwide has seven investors. Two other Nepali name holders Ashish Rauniyar and ChinpalRauniyar, their addresses unknown, have also invested in Sonnet. The company Ilinkage also has another Nepali investorKhusbu Sarkar Shrestha, according to the ICIJ details.

In a telephone conversation, Shyam Milan Shrestha told us that he knows Khusbu Sarkar. “We opened a ‘zero account’ company in Hong Kong 14/15 years ago. It’s not in existence now,” said Shrestha. “We had opened it believing that it would be of some use.”

Later we scanned the Corporate Registries details on Hong Kong. No company by the name Sonnet International was found to be listed in Hong Kong. According to the documents with Corporate Registries, the Ilinkage International Limited has been registered there but its investors are two Malaysian citizens, not Shyam Milan.

Khusbu Sarkar said the registration in 2001 was for a start-up. “It was registered in Hong Kong. My friends in Hong Kong are known to have kept it in the British Virgin Islands for tax purpose,” Sarkar said. “The company had no use. It shut in three months.” He stated that Shyam Milan Shrestha, Ashish Rauniyar and Chinpal Rauniyar, whose names had connections with him, were investors. On the question of the foreign investment bar for Nepalis, he said: “In 2001, we did not know that we could not register companies in a foreign country.”

There are more Nepalis who have invested in the British Virgin Islands. Nepalis are seen to have invested also in Amkodor Earthmoving Equipment India Pvt Ltd and Maheshwar Softtech Pvt Ltd. Yogesh Lal Shrestha and Menuka Shrestha of Maharajgunj, Kathmandu, have invested in these companies. Yogesh Lal and another Nepali Rajan Lal Shrestha have set up the company called Maheshwar Suppliers Private Limited. The Paradise Papers leaked by the ICIJ in 2017 also revealed the name of Vikas Sinha. Born in Nepal, Sinha has used his Nepali passport to open the company in the foreign land. He is found to have invested in the United Spirits Limited based in the British Virgin Islands. He is seen to have brought investment in Nepal’s famous liquor company United Spirits through the tax haven. Aided by Lokman Singh Karki, the then-controversial chief of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), the company has exited Nepal.

Doctor and professor

A doctor and a professor have also been involved in illegal investments. Doctor Shyam Bahadur Karmacharya and Professor Shatendra Gupta are found to have invested in the tax haven. Biomedical equipment expert Karmacharya, as a resident of Lalitpur Metropolitan City-2, registered the Surgi Electro Medicacompany in the British Virgin Islands in 2008. Also registered in Nepal, the Surgi Electro Medica company is operational in Pokhara and Kathmandu. The company imports biomedical and surgical equipment and delivers to both public and private hospital across the country.

Company representative Anil Bhurtel confirmed that Karmacharya had invested in the Surgi Electro Medica companies in Kathmandu and Pokhara. “He’s the first biomedical industrialist of Nepal. He’s also the owner of Kathmandu Hospital, Nepal’s first corporate hospital,” Bhurtel said. “His son Raju Karmacharya looks after the pharmaceutical company in Nawalparasi.”

As shown in the ICIJ details, Gupta registered the Wonca International Inc in the British Virgin Islands in 2004. Twelve doctors and professors from Europe, Australia, Africa, and South America have invested in the company. According to details, the group of Gupta and 12 foreigners involved in the medical field have opened another organization by the name Wonca headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand.

Nepali citizen Gupta has been the Middle East and South Asian regional vice-chairman of Wonca, the international network of family doctors, physicians and medical professionals. Born in Kanchanpur, the Wonca states, Gupta studied MBBS in government quota in 1977 and went on to become the chief of the General Practice and Emergency Medicine department at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital. According to a report published in December 2001, Gupta is also a founder of the General Practitioners’ Association of Nepal (GPAN).

Sugar in the tax haven

Shashikant Agrawal is the name of one trader who can lobby with government agencies for agenda favoring him. The man, who switches between surnames Khetan and Agrawal, has also invested in a foreign company. According to the ICIJ details, Shashikant and his brother Sumit registered the MultiLink Trading Limited company in 2003 in the British Virgin Islands.

Agrawal said they had only proposed opening the company. “There’s a sugar factory in Mahottari and the Reliance Spinning Mills in Itahari. I have no investment anywhere abroad,” said Agrawal. “[My] name appeared in newspapers then but there’s no investment [abroad]. There was talk about opening a company; it didn’t happen.”

The government imposed import quota on sugar on September 16, 2018, at the behest of Shashikant, who chairs the Nepal Sugar Mills Association. This was not the first time that the government favored the industrial sector he is involved in. In the name of protecting the domestic sugar industry, the government increased sugar import duty by 15 percent, taking it to 30 percent. The result is: consumers are paying a higher price for the sweetener.

As revealed by the CIJ earlier, he got tax rebate also from the controversial Tax Settlement Commission. His Reliance Industry had to pay the government Rs 11,227,773 under various headings. The commission decided to write off his whole debt.

Misuse of Nepali citizenship

According to the details provided by the ICIJ, foreign citizens use Nepali citizenship to park money abroad. This is evident from the details of investment in a foreign country by Harish Kumar Todi Agrawal, BijeshTodi and BinduTodi. In 2007, they registered a company called Woodstock Universal Limited in the British Virgin Islands. Stating Biratnagar-9, Morang as their address, Bijesh and Harish had submitted their Nepali passport for the purpose. BinduTodi, the other investor in the company, has Haryana, India, as her address.

Harish and Bijesh are not renowned entrepreneurs in Nepal. Investigation showed that they have investments in India too. While finding out facts about the company in which Bindu has invested, Harish and Bijeshwere also learned to be Indians. They have established JadeKnitsPvt Ltd in India. The T10 Sports that trades in sports goods is registered in India in their names. As mentioned in its website, the company supplies jerseys to the national cricket team of Nepal.

We called him up on his Indian number. Todi ruled out his investments in both the T10 Sports and Woodstock companies. On the question of using the Nepali citizenship, however, he said: “Whichever country I may be from, I’m free to go and roam anywhere.”

Tourism businessman Bajgain

Details show that Nepali Congress central committee member Rajendra Bajgain, who lost the provincial assembly election, has also invested abroad. According to the Companies House, the British company registrar’s office, Bajgain set up the Gurkha Encounters Limited in 2004 and the FNB Publishing Limited in 2010 in London.

The certificate of registration of the company owned by Rajendra Bajgain in the UK.

The Gurkha Encounters was later renamed ‘The Himalayan Adventure Limited’. Investors in the renamed company include London resident Lekhnath Pandy, British citizen Maggie Magwaya and Nepali citizen Bagjain as shareholders. Pandey is a Non-Resident Nepali while Bagjain is a tourism businessman in Nepal.

In Nepal, Bajagain’s Gurkha Encounters is a tourism company. According to details obtained by the CIJ, the firm was registered in Nepal 20 years ago. The company by the same was registered in London five years later in 2004.

Bajgain has also brought investment from tax haven into Nepal. According to the list of foreign direct investment made available by the Department of Industry, Bajgain has brought in foreign money by opening different companies in three countries in partnership with the Silver Heritage Group of Australia. Rs 3.78 billion came into the country in such arrangement in three installments for operating hotels and casino. The investment is related to three companies based in Hong Kong, British Virgin Islands, and Britain. Named ‘Silver Heritage Limited’ in all the countries, the company in Hong Kong is under the IRP Asia Limited. Besides, in partnership with Bajgain, London resident David Frank has invested Rs 22.5 million.

Bajgain admitted that he owned a company in the UK. “I’m also involved in the 1 pound gifted company in Britain. That’s not my own investment,” he said. “We’ve not taken money from here to that company.” In relation to the money brought in from the British Virgin Islands, Bajgain said, “I don’t know that the country is on the blacklist for tax evasion. The [Nepal] government has granted permission for the investment. I have no comments about it.”

Mangesh and Sanjib

According to the details of the California company registrar’s office provided by the ICIJ, Mangesh Lal Shrestha of Kathmandu is another Nepali having invested in a foreign country. Mangesh is found to have registered the Incessant Rain company to work on ‘film and animation’ in California in 2015. Two Nepalis and one non-resident Nepali are found to have invested in it. Besides Mangesh Lal, Sanjib Rajbhandari, chief executive officer of the IT company Mercantile Office Systems, and Kiran Bhakta Joshi, a Californian resident, are the other two investors. The address of the two has been stated to be Bansbari, Kathmandu.

A company by the same name Incessant Rain Animation Studio is operational in Nepal. According to the Company Registrar’s Office, the firm is listed in Nepal as Incessant Rain Animation Studio Pvt Ltd. Its investors are the Californian Incessant Rain Pvt Ltd, Sanjib Rajbhandari, Kiran Bhakta and Suprabha Rajbhandari. Mangesh chairs the Nepal Youth Entrepreneurs’ Forum and is a member of the Federation of the Nepalis Chambers and Industries.

Mangesh Lal denied that he had stakes in a foreign country. “The company in California is of Kiran Dai [brother] and Sanjib Uncle. I’m not involved in it,” said Mangesh. “CAS Trading House is our family business. My father is Yogeshwor Lal Shrestha. I had tried to be involved in that company but didn’t.”

In an email response, Sanjib Rajbhandari said: “If my name is listed by the company, then it has done so without my consent or knowledge.”

Chandra Prasad Dhakal of IME Group

The certificate of company registration by Chandra Prasad Dhakal in the UK. (Below) The letter was written by Dhakal to the registrar ‘Companies House’.

According to the details related to the British registrar Companies House, entrepreneur Chandra Prasad Dhakal is found to have purchased the Sunbird Computer Consultants Limited on August 9, 2002. According to the documents received by the CIJ Nepal with help from the ICIJ, he had rechristened the company as International Money Express (IME) UK Limited. The company has Dhakal, his brother Hemraj, two British citizens and two non-resident Nepalis as investors. The NRNs are the London-based Anil Kumar Lamichhane and Kamal Poudel. In his letter to the British Company Registrar’s Office dated 21 August 2002, Dhakal said, “Dear Sir, I confirm that we are limited companies in both Nepal and Malaysia using the name International Money Express (IME) Limited.” (See letter)

Another British company established by Hemraj Dhakal is IME Holdings Limited. According to the Company’s House, Maharajgunj-4, Kathmandu is the Nepal address of Chandra Prasad Dhakal while that in England is Pentax House, South Harrow Middlesex. The address for Hemraj is Pentax House, South Harrow Middlesex, England.

Satish Lal Acharya and Bhawana Singh Shrestha

According to the documents obtained, Satish Lal Acharya, a Nepali businessman residing in Singapore, has registered four companies in the British Virgin Islands between 2000 and 2007. The companies are Pasa Holding Limited, Square Star Inc, Lacell Holding Incorporated and Leading Faith Incorporated. Lydenberg Group Limited also has a stake in Lacell. Satish’s wife Bhawana Singh Shrestha has also invested abroad. She registered the Sunivera Capital Venture Private Limited in 2015. Bhawana has a company in Nepal by the same name. Sunivera has a 20 percent stake in Ncell, the telecom operator that has been embroiled in a huge tax scam in Nepal.

Satish’s ventures are in a number of countries including Cambodia. As reported by the Cambodian Phnom Penh Post investigative journalist Jack Davies on April 21, 2016, Satish opened the telecom company Applifone in Cambodia in 2006 and appointed Raj Bahadur Singh, the son-in-law of ex-king Gyanendra Shah, as its chairman. Applifone has a stake in Nepal’s Smart Telecom. Satish and his family are other investors in Smart Telecom. His Singapore-based Bitmap Private Limited is engaged in telecom business in Asia and Africa. Bitmap was set up in 2002 with nearly Rs 1 billion worth of capital and property.

Satish has invested also in the Lal Sahu Distribution company in Singapore. According to the details provided by the Singaporean authority Registries of Companies and Businesses, Lal Sahu Distribution deals in bulk goods. This company has an 80 percent stake in Nepal’s Smart Telecom. According to the Nepal Telecommunication Authority, Smart Telecom has taxes due to be paid to the government amounting to Rs 1.375 billion. As revealed by the ICIJ in its Offshore Leaks, the Singaporean citizen Neo Lay Hiang Pamela has invested in both of these companies. Hiang has stakes in 29 companies in the British Virgin Islands. According to the Commerce Ministry of Cambodia, RajBahadur Singh is the owner of the Lacell Private company. Satish and Bhawana could not be contacted.

Rama Malla of Malla Hotel

Rama Malla, the daughter of Rana Prime Minister Padma Shumsher, is found to have invested in a company in Britain. According to the details received from the Companies House, her investment partner is John Morrison Atwater, an American living in London. According to the details provided by the ICIJ in connection with the Swiss Leaks, Atwater’s name was on the list of those depositing their money in Swiss banks. Owned by Malla and Atwater, the Sixteen Upper Brook Street Limited is operational in England. Having been in existence for 34 years, Malla invested in the company in 2004. Rama Malla is the chairperson of Malla Hotel in Thamel, Kathmandu. A public notice was issued in Nepal one year ago, about her tax dues.

Seeking Malla’s response, we called up Malla Hotel a number of times. The person who answered the phone identified himself as Surendra, Malla’s personal secretary, and said: “I’ll convey your message. You’ll receive a call tomorrow.” We waited for the next four days for the response but did not hear anything from them.

Minu Shah/Chhibber

In course of searching for additional details about Rama Malla’s business partner Atwater, the name of Nepali citizen Minu Shah/Chhibber came up. Minu Shah is among the Nepalis parking money in Swiss banks. Atwater and Minu invested in tax havens from 2003 until 2016. As detailed in the Panama Papers of the ICIJ in 2016, the controversial company in the British Virgin Islands Mossack Fonseca has registered the Rooney Holdings Company in the name of Minu Chhiber. Minu’s name has been mentioned as the beneficiary of investment in the bank account of the company registered in Jersey, the Channel Islands lying between England and France. The company listed in the supposed tax haven is found to be operational until 2016 since its registration in 2000.

According to a 2010 document, the shareholders of the company before Minu invested in it are British. Minu is found to have entered the tax haven through the British nationals. Minu Shah/Chhibber is also linked to the Dubai-based Pearl Global Finance Limited. Minu’s sons Mahesh and Parvesh are the shareholders of this company. John Morrison Atwater, the American living in London, is also related to the company. The company documents mention Atwater as client-related individual and legal institutions. Minu, Mahesh, and Parvesh have all mentioned Atwater as the ‘Individuals / Legal Entities In Relation With Profile’ of their property.

Minu’s eldest son Parvesh has stakes in Adwani Hotel and Resort of India and more than a dozen companies in Britain. Her youngest son Mahesh, who lives in Burlington Arcade, London, has invested in half a dozen companies in the British capital. Minu of Kupondole, Lalitpur, was married to Indian citizen Sirvatera  Prakash Chhibber. The 1993 and 1996 journals of the Britain Nepal Society list Minu as the Society’s member.

According to Ganesh Prasad Adhikari, an administrative officer at the Passport Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minu Chhibber obtained the machine-readable passport from the British Embassy on September 17, 2013.

The legal provision

According to the Act Restricting Investment Abroad, 1964, Nepalis investing abroad may even be jailed. The Act applies to “all citizens of Nepal whether they reside within or outside Nepal and to corporate bodies established within Nepal”. Clause 2 of the Act says investment means any other kind of cash or in-kind investment whatsoever made abroad except that as specified by the Government of Nepal by notification in the Nepal Gazette. According to the law, Nepalis cannot invest in foreign securities, a partnership of a foreign firm, foreign bank account, real estate situated abroad, or any other type of cash or kind. The Act stipulates: “If any person does any act in violation of this Act or any notice, order or direction issued under this Act, the person shall be liable to the punishment of fine equal to the amount in question or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both.”

The Panama Papers investigation: The findings emerge from millions of secret files obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the German newspaper SüddeutscheZeitung and other media partners. More than 11 million documents — emails, cash transfers and company incorporation details from 1977 to December 2015 — show the inner workings of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, one of the largest shell-company registration agents in the offshore world.

The post #NepalLeaks: How 55 Nepali Business Elites, Defying Their Country’s Laws, Invested In Offshore Companies appeared first on News, sport and opinion from the Kathmandu Tribune's global edition.

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