Gopal's Feed
Mar 11, 2013

Cannabis-smoking ascetics light up Nepal festival

KATHMANDU (Reuters) – Ringed by an endless stream of pilgrims at an ancient temple in Kathmandu, Hindu holy man Mahant Ramnaresh Giri sat naked and puffed on a pipe filled with cannabis, his body smeared with ash as he took part in Nepal’s biggest annual religious event.

Giri was one of more than a hundred such naked ascetics at the ancient Shivaratri festival, which brings an estimated one million devout Hindus flocking to Kathmandu’s Pashupatinath temple each year for rituals to cleanse them of sin and earn a place in heaven.

Feb 28, 2013

Sherpa woman overcomes prejudice for Everest record

KATHMANDU, Feb 28 (Reuters) – When Chhurim Sherpa was a
child she was inspired to dream of scaling Mount Everest by the
mountaineers heading to the Himalayan peaks which tower over her
village in eastern Nepal.

But economic and social pressures stood in her way,
including people saying she did not have the right to set foot
on the sacred peak because she was a mere female.

Feb 18, 2013

Nepal agrees to caretaker govt ahead of mid-year election

KATHMANDU (Reuters) – Nepal’s main political parties said on Monday they had reached an agreement to set up a unity government before a national election in the middle of the year, in a deal that could end a deadlock after a decade of civil war.

Maoist Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, 58, will step down and Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi of the Supreme Court will head the new administration to oversee the vote in May or June, the parties said.

Feb 18, 2013

Nepal agrees to caretaker government ahead of mid-year election

KATHMANDU (Reuters) – Nepal’s main political parties said on Monday they had reached an agreement to set up a unity government before a national election in the middle of the year, in a deal that could end a deadlock after a decade of civil war.

Maoist Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, 58, will step down and Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi of the Supreme Court will head the new administration to oversee the vote in May or June, the parties said.

Feb 7, 2013

Nepal’s Maoists set terms to end political deadlock

KATHMANDU (Reuters) – Nepal’s Maoist party has for the first time laid down the condition on which its prime minister would resign, paving the way for an end to a political deadlock with opposition parties that has paralyzed one of the world’s poorest countries.

Baburam Bhattarai has agreed to step aside provided that opposition parties accept the chief justice of the Supreme Court as the head of a unity government to oversee national elections, delegates to a party conference said on Thursday.

Feb 5, 2013

Nepal begins Bengal tiger census, India to match

KATHMANDU (Reuters) – Hundreds of wildlife experts carrying sophisticated cameras began combing the forests in Nepal’s southern plains on Tuesday in the Himalayan nation’s biggest campaign yet to count the number of endangered tigers roaming in its national parks.

The survey is crucial for planning strategy to double the number of Royal Bengal tigers in Nepal by 2022, as pledged by the Nepali government. Nepal is currently home to 176 of the animals, which are threatened by poaching and habitat loss.

Feb 2, 2013

Nepal Maoist PM says to accept unity government for May polls

HETAUDA, Nepal (Reuters) – Nepal’s Maoist prime minister said on Saturday he was ready for a unity government to oversee May elections, in an attempt to break a deadlock threatening a peace process that ended a decade-long civil war.

“We are ready to accept a national unity government under anybody’s leadership to hold elections for the constituent assembly,” Baburam Bhattarai told party delegates gathered for the six-day conference in the industrial town of Hetauda, 80 km (50 miles) southeast of Kathmandu.

Jan 31, 2013

Nepal opposition rejects election call, vows to step up protests

KATHMANDU (Reuters) – Nepal’s main opposition parties vowed on Thursday to intensify street protests against the government, rejecting a plan to hold parliamentary elections in May, a sign of deepening brinkmanship threatening to wreck a fragile peace process.

Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, a former Maoist rebel leader, announced at a rally of 10,000 people on Wednesday that elections, earlier scheduled for last November, would be held in May to elect a special assembly to draw up a new constitution for the young Himalayan republic.

Jan 30, 2013

Nepal PM calls May election to defuse mounting crisis

KATHMANDU (Reuters) – Nepal’s Maoist Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai promised on Wednesday to hold delayed elections in May, raising hopes for an end to a political stalemate that has crippled the Himalayan republic still emerging from a decade-long civil war.

A former rebel leader, Bhattarai announced the polls to a rally of 10,000 cheering, flag-waving supporters in the heart of the Nepali capital. It was a show of strength after weeks of violent street protests by opposition parties demanding the prime minister’s resignation.

Jan 23, 2013

Nepal clashes erupt in new threat to peace process

KATHMANDU (Reuters) – Opponents of Nepal’s Maoist prime minister hurled stones at rivals and erected barricades in a provincial town on Wednesday, police and media said, raising tensions that threaten a peace process in a country still recovering from a decade of civil war.

At least two dozen people were injured in Dailekh, 300 km (185 miles) west of the capital, Kathmandu, where activists from seven opposition parties, calling for Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai to resign, massed outside the venue of a Maoist conference. Police fired tear gas to try to disperse the crowds.