Nepal Maoist party opposes Indian investment in hydropower sector
A hardline Maoist faction in Nepal Tuesday voiced its opposition to foreign investment in Nepal’s hydropower sector, particularly targeting Indian investment. Addressing a press conference here, Mohan Baidhya aka Kiran, leader of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, said his party would stage protest rallies Thursday against such investment from outside the country. Though the party’s position on opposing Indian investment in Nepal’s hydropower sector is not a new one, the latest move has raised a question mark over the future of Indian investment in Nepal, especially when two Indian firms are all set to sign a Power Development Agreement (PDA) with the Nepal government.
Time and again, India has been reminding Nepal at the top level that all Indian investments in Nepal should be secured and protected. The two sides had signed the Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (BIPPA) some two years back after Indian investors in Nepal were threatened by Maoists. Baidhya said the agitation would be against the Upper Karnali, Koshi High Dam Project, Upper Marsyangadi and Arun III projects.
All these four projects have Indian investment and are at various stages of development. GMR India is developing Upper Karnali (900 MW) and Upper Marsyangadi (600 MW) while the Koshi High Dam, which is multipurpose in nature, is directly handled by the Indian government. The Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (SJVNL) is developing Arun III (900 MW). Unveiling the programme of action, Baidhya said his party would organise protest programmes Thursday in district headquarters where these projects are located. The party’s water resources wing will also organise a talk programme on the same day in Kathmandu under the theme of “water resources and national treason”. “These projects are more in favour of India than Nepal. We will obstruct their implementation until the unequal agreement is scrapped and a fresh one is signed,” Baidhya said.
CPN-M to boycott June 22 by-elections
KATHMANDU: A politburo meeting of the CPN-Maoist has made a formal decision to boycott the by-elections of the second Constituent Assembly slated for June 22. Election Commission is holding by-elections at four different constituencies – Kathmandu 2, Chitwan 4, Kailali 6 and Bardiya 1 – which were vacated after the leaders victorious from two different places relinquished their win in the given constituencies.
Similarly, the politburo meeting also decided to hold the national convention of the party on the first week of July. The CPN-Maoist, meanwhile, also pulled government’s attention towards the Mahakali flood last year. The party called on the government to take all preventive measures to avoid such a crisis this monsoon. The party also demanded that the government arrange for the relief to the fire victims at various places of Tarai, at the earliest.
Issuing a statement today, the CPN-Maoist also said the party’s district level assemblies held recently were successfully. Drawing to a conclusion that party is getting stronger at the local level, the CPN-Maoist also declared various phase wise programmes, which includes handing over of memorandum to local level authorities for the rights of peasants, condolence programmes to the martyrs, among others.
Kanchanpur schools shut protesting union leader’s arrest
MAHENDRANAGAR: Private and community schools of Kanchanpur district remained closed on Monday due to a strike called by the CPN-Maoist-affiliated All Nepal National Independent Students Union-Revolutionary (ANNISU-R). The union had called a strike demanding immediate release of one of its leaders arrested in connection to the vandalism and arson at the International Public Higher Secondary School last Friday. Students affiliated to the union had torched the school bus and vandalised school buildings protesting the school’s publication that had images of Indian political leaders including Mahatma Gandhi. Police had arrested ANNISU-R central member Bishnu Upadhyay for his alleged involvement in the vandalism.