China plans railway to India, Nepal borders by 2020

July 25, 2014

BEIJING, July 24 (Reuters) – China plans to extend a railway line linking Tibet with the rest of the country to the borders of India, Nepal and Bhutan by 2020 once an extension to a key site in Tibetan Buddhism opens, a state-run newspaper reported on Thursday.

China opened the railway to Tibet’s capital Lhasa in 2006, which passes spectacular icy peaks on the Tibetan highlands, touching altitudes as high as 5,000 metres (16,400 feet) above sea level, as part of government efforts to boost development.

Critics of the railway, including exiled Tibetans and rights groups, say it has spurred an influx of long-term migrants who threaten Tibetans’ cultural integrity, which rests on Buddhist beliefs and a traditional herding lifestyle.

The Global Times, published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, said that an extention to Shigatse, the traditional seat of Tibetan Buddhism’s second-highest figure, the Panchen Lama, would formally open next month. Read more

Confirmed: Saarc Summit to be held on Nov 22-27

July 25, 2014

KATHMANDU, JUL 25 – Nepal is set to host the 18th Saarc Summit on November 22-27 in Kathmandu. Having received approvals from the other seven Saarc member states, the government will announce the date next week after a Cabinet decision.

The confirmation will pave the way for the government to make logistical preparations such as hotel booking for visiting dignitaries.

“I’ll table a proposal for the announcement at the Cabinet,” said Minister for Foreign Affairs Mahendra Bahadur Pandey, adding that the agenda will be included informally on Friday.

This is the third time Nepal hosts the summit—the first was held in 1997 and the second in 2002.

According to the events calendar, Programming Committee meeting at the joint-secretary level will be held on November 22, and the foreign secretary-level Standing Committee will meet on November 23 and 24. Read more

Gathe Mangal Battling the Evils

July 25, 2014

Celebrating the good and battling the evil is the crux of Gathe Mangal.

Long ago, there lived a demon in Kathmandu who had bells on his ears, and for that reason was known as Ghanta Karna. He took great pleasure in hunting down women and children. Everybody was terrified of him but nobody dared to fight against him for he was extremely evil and powerful. During the rainy season, the local farmers needed to go to their fields to sow the seeds and tend the crops. But they were too scared of Ghanta Karna to venture out of their homes.

At last, some frogs came up with a brilliant idea to vanquish the demon. They started croaking at a swamp near the demon’s dwelling. Ghanta Karna got so irritated with the unmelodic sound that he went after them to kill them. But the moment he entered the swamp, he drowned while the frogs remained unscathed. The farmers were so happy that they decided to celebrate the day of victory as Gathe Mangal and worship frogs for their courage and wisdom.

What seems like a fairytale is the actual legend behind one of the oldest festivals of the Kathmandu Valley observed by the resident Newar communities. It is called Gathe Mangal. A ritualistic ceremony to ward off ghosts and evil spirits and ensure good health and fortune, Gathe Mangal is celebrated every year on the day of Shrawan Shukla Chaturdashi. Read more

Yeti Airlines starts week-long sapling plantation campaign

July 25, 2014

KATHMANDU, July 24: Yeti Airlines planted over 2,500 saplings at Uttar Rameshworam, Jyotirling Shivapuri Dham in Uttar Bayhadi of Dhangadhi-4 as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) on Thursday.

The plantation program will run for a week with a target of planting 20,000 saplings, according to a statement from the airline.

“The company’s Green Project started in 2010, with Raaika Tours and Travels in Dhangadhi, and been responsible for the planting of over 130,000 saplings so far in Kanchangpur, Kailali and Doti districts,” the statement said.

Yeti Airlines also donated Rs 20 for each one-way ticket and Rs 40 for each return ticket on the Dhangadhi and Nepalgunj sectors to the project.

“We are committed to reducing the impact of carbon emissions on the environment. We also want people who have flown with us in these sectors to feel good that they have contributed toward conservation efforts” the statement quoted Roshan Regmi, the Marketing Manager of Yeti Airlines, as saying.

Date: 25 July, 2014

Wyoming cave with fossil secrets to be excavated

July 25, 2014

CHEYENNE: For the first time in more than 30 years, paleontologists are preparing excavate a sinkhole-type cave in northern Wyoming that contains the ancient remains of tens of thousands of animals.

Those animals include American cheetahs, mammoths and short-faced bears — species now extinct that were common more than 20,000 years ago.

Natural Trap Cave is a 15-foot-wide hole in the ground that opens up into an 85-foot-deep cavern. Over many years, tens of thousands of animals accidentally fell into the pit and died.

Starting Monday, scientists plan to resume digging in Natural Trap Cave for the first time since the early 1980s. One goal is to retrieve DNA from the animal bones.

They say the cave holds valuable clues to life in the last glacial period.

Source: The Himalayan Times
Date: 24 July, 2014

Mahabir Pun receives Jonathan B Postel Service Award

July 25, 2014

KATHMANDU: The Internet Society has awarded prestigious Jonathan B Postel Service Award to Mahabir Pun for his key role in bringing Internet service to rural Nepal by founding the Nepal Wireless Networking Project.

Pun was selected by an international award committee comprising former Jonathan B Postel award winners, which placed particular emphasis on candidates who have supported and enabled others in addition to their own specific actions.

“Mahabir Pun has made a tremendous contribution to Nepal with profound implications for the people of that region now and in the future,” said Kathy Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Internet Society. “He faced unfathomable challenges, and this award is a testament to his dedication, fortitude and courage in helping to connect his country with the world.”

The Internet Society on Wednesday presented the award, including a US$ 20,000 honorarium and a crystal engraved globe, during the 90th meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force held in Toronto, Canada from July 20 to July 25. Read more

Nepal bridge provides shortest land route between India, China

July 23, 2014

Nepal today inaugurated the 100-meter-long Khurkot Bridge, built at a cost of USD 1.8 million, that will provide the shortest land route between China and India.

Financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the bridge over the Sunkoshi River will also substantially enhance connectivity between hilly regions of Nepal.

The bridge serves as an important link for crossing the mid-hill highway and provide the shortest land route between the China and India, an ADB statement said. Read more

New Road next area to be lit the solar way

July 23, 2014

KATHMANDU, JUL 23 – With the success of Durbarmarg solar street light project, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City now plans to install solar-powered street lamps in other major streets of the Capital.

By the end of October, KMC plans to install solar street lights in  New Baneshwor, New Road, and the street surrounding Tundikhel. The project would cost an estimated Rs 40 million.

“All these stretches will have solar street lights under our Saarc beautification project,” said KMC Chief Dhana Prasad Shrestha. Read more