Ruling Party and the Government
Former PM and Nepal Communist Party leader Jhalanath Khanal said that there is a need for amendment in the Constitution with regards to parliamentary and election system.
Prime Minister Oli said that there is a single Government in the country of which the provinces and the local governments are the functional arms. Constitutional experts and the public criticized the PM’s statement calling it against the Constitution and Federalism.
NCP Rupandehi district finalized the district committee unification process. The committee formed with 175 members, including government officials and teachers.
The government presented a budget of 1.53 trillion rupees for the upcoming fiscal year 2019/2020 with a target of an economic growth of 8.5 per cent. The aim is to transform the country into a middle income country by 2030. The revenue collection target is set close to a trillion rupees which is nearly as much as the recurrent expenses. The government will take a loan from internal and external to fulfill the deficit.
The government provided grant around Rs 414 billion for the province and local governments under different programs for the fiscal year 2019/2020. Minister for Finance, Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada, announced that the senior citizen social security allowance increased by Rs 1,000. Similarly, Dalits, senior citizens of Karnali state, people with full disability and partial disability above 60 years were incorporated in this program, including terminally handicapped, disabled, single women and people from indigenous communities.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli received honorary Doctorate from Kangnam University of South Korea. Oli was awarded the doctorate degree in ‘Political Science’. Earlier he received honorary doctorate each from UN University for Peace in Costa Rica, Govinda Ballabh (GB) Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in Uttarkhand, in India, and Greenford University of America.
NCP Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal –Prachanda made remarks referring to the 5-point agreement held between him and Prime Minister Oli at the onset of unification process of Nepal Communist party. A point in the agreement mentions power sharing agreement between the two. Prachanda further claimed that no one would violate the agreement.
The government tabled Water Supply and Sanitation Bill in the Federal Parliament with a provision on action against persons who directly drain waste into rivers, ponds, streams, reservoirs, and public places.
Bidya Devi Bhandari returned a bill brought for amendment back to the House of
Representatives with comments on some of the provisions. This return is the
first case of a return of bill in the Republic.
Nationwide awareness program of Nepali Congress failed to create an impetus in many districts. Leaders, at a program in Dang, concluded that awareness was needed among top leaders instead.
NC leader Gagan Thapa, speaking at a program in Damauli, said that the country will collapse in the next four years of communist government under KP Oli.
Further, the opposition party urged the government to address the demands of the agitating nurses. The nurses have been protesting demanding further education, social security, and minimum wages.
Nepali Congress Parliamentary meeting said that the government annual budget is distributive and does not meet people’s aspiration and prosperity needs of the country. NC Chief Whip Bal Krishna Khand stated that the budget is against the people want will not ensure development.
Bhojpur district cadre of Biplab’s Party, Tirtha Raj Ghimire, succumbed to injuries in police firing. Police also confiscated a pistol, five rounds of bullets, detonators, cord, and binocular from him. Dang district member and Ghorahi in-charge Shahdev Tharu (Bihani) declared abandoning the party.
The country saw a general strike called by the party on Monday protesting the killing of Tirtha Raj Ghimire, one of its party cadres. The party demanded investigation of the death.The strike had a nationwide impact following multiple blasts in the capital on Sunday. Party cadres burnt a vehicle in Surkhet, planted IEDs near NCell office in Pokhara, and planted pressure cooker and sockets bombs in Mahottari, Jhapa, Baitadi, Sarlahi. Two bikes were also burned in Karnali.
Security expert Geja Sharma Wagle said that multiple blasts on Sunday with four casualties suggested a complete failure of the security agencies. Commenting on the blasts, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa termed Chand and his party cadres as ‘non-citizens’ and were carrying out criminal activities against the constitution. Human rights activists objected to the word used by the home minister.
Biplab’s Party cadres carried out a bomb blast in Kalikot while the Karnali Province Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi was attending a program there. The blast caused no damages. 
Three party cadres including Rautahat district in-charge Shankar Adhikari and members Sanjeev Karki and Devraj Ghimire surrendered to the Lalitpur police.
Human Rights and Press Freedom
Editors of national dailies and online media, issuing a joint statement, urged the government to withdraw the media council bill. The editors said that the bill is against the spirit of the constitution and democratic norms and values.
Nepali Congress Whip Pushpa Bhusal said the Media Council bill will curtail press freedom and hence the government should withdraw and amend it. Some of the top leaders of the ruling party also criticized the government on the proposed bill. Senior leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal said the bills should not endorsed without revision. Senior leader Bamdev Gautam hoped that the government will revise the controversial bill. Likewise, Party spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha said that some provisions in the bill were against press freedom. Parliamentary party leader Subash Chandra Nemwang confirmed that he will not support the endorsement while Standing Committee members Yogesh Bhattarari and Pampha Bhusal demanded the government to reconsider.
Minister of Communication and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota reiterated that the government will not withdraw the media council bill as the provision on penalty was against those who violate the code of conduct. 
However, following criticisms, the government expressed its commitment to revise the controversial bill related to National Human Rights Commission as some of the provisions were against the spirit of the constitution and international practice. Krishna Bhakta Pokharel, Chairman,Parliamentary Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights Committee informed the bill will be revised after consultation with officials from the Commission.
The United Nations Human Rights Committee urged Nepal to investigate the case of Fulmati Nyaya, raped and tortured during the armed conflict on 2002. The UNHCR highlighted the need to adapt its laws related to rape and sexual violence and remove obstacles faced by victims to accessing justice and compensation.
The National Human Rights Commission, Nepalgunj office received 761 complaints of violation of rights till the first nine months (till April 13) of the current fiscal year. This figure includes the violation of human rights, civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights, child rights, caste-based discriminations, women rights and torture-related cases. The data shows that Banke (284) is ahead in the entire State 5, followed by Rolpa (132), Bardiya (166), in east Rukum (81), Dang (77) and Pyuthan (21). 
Transitional Justice, Judiciary and Parliamentary Affairs
Speaking at a program organized by Conflict Victims Common Platform, NCP senior leader Jhalanath Khanal called for revision in the two transitional justice commission incorporating Supreme Court (SC) verdicts, international treaties, and standpoint of the victims at the center.
Central Executive Committee meeting of the platform demanded amendment of the transitional justice Act as per the principle of transitional justice and spirit of the Comprehensive Peace Accord. The platform said they would not accept the commission if the former members were reappointed. The National Human Rights Commission had called back its member from the recommendation committee set up for selection of members in the transitional justice bodies.
Transitional justice recommendation committee awaits political consensus for finalizing nominee for the bodies. The committee categorized the application based on their community and gender. 
First time in judiciary history of the country, the Judicial Council meeting suspended two judges on charges of lack of work efficiency and corruption. On the chairmanship of Supreme Court Chief Justice Choldenra Shumsher JB Rana Judicial Council suspended Tanahu District Court Chief Judge Omkara Upadhaya and Bishow Mangal Atreya, Chief Judge, Lalitpur District Court. 
Lawmakers of State Affairs Committee included a process of hiring high-level government staff on contract and revised the Federal Civil Service Bill. NCP lawmaker Pampha Bhusal, Nawaraj Silwal, Maheshwor Gahatraj, Tirth Gautam, Janardan Sharma and NC lawmaker Dibyamani Rajbhandari argued for amendment including such provision.
Parliamentary Committee on National concerns and coordination committee granted permission to the government to approve the detailed project report of the 76.2 kilometers Kathmandu-Tarai Fast-track.
Security and Strategic Affairs
Three days after Nepal banned Alipay and WeChat, the Chinese payment companies expressed their interest to work with Nepali authority without breaching Nepal’s laws and regulations. Himalayan Bank CEO Ashok SJB Rana confirmed that the bank signed an agreement with Alipay to facilitate a cross-border online payment facility, for which the central bank hasn’t yet permitted the joint operation.
Foreign Direct Investments
government of Nepal decided the minimum foreign investment threshold of Rs 50
million from existing Rs 5 million. Department of Industry recommended Ministry
of Industry, Commerce and Supplies to set the threshold at Rs 70 million;
Irregularities and Audit Observations
Six months of investigation of the Parliamentary Monitoring Special Committee indicated financial irregularity amounting to Rs 1.75 billion in procurement of office equipment and building construction.
The audit objection doubled in the current fiscal year. As per the report of the Office of the Auditor General, audit objection in the local government of the Gandaki Pradesh was Rs 9.6 million last year, while it rocketed to Rs 1.5 billion this year.
Budget and Expenditure
Province 5 Government presented its policy and programme for the upcoming fiscal year 076/077 with a priority in agriculture programme in the fiscal year.Sudur Paschim Province Government started various road constructions, including six territorial roads which were halted due to budget constraints. The roads might enhance the connectivity of the province with other provinces.
The PR members of Sudur Pashchim Province Assembly demanded infrastructure budget. The government provides two million rupees each to directly elected representative in the province.
Chakrapani Khanal, Minister for the Agricultural and Development said that the budget will be sent directly to the local governments for immediate benefit of the farmers.
Members of Parliament of Province 1 demanded allocation of Rs 5 Billion under the Parliament Development Fund. The MPs have been demanding one billion rupees for the infrastructure development.
Province 3 government presented its policy and program with continuity of past program. The main opposition Nepali Congress opposed it.
Following a cabinet nod, the Public Service Commission announced vacancies to recruit thousands of staffers for the local governments on May 29. The commission is recruiting 11492 personnel.
Motorable road construction is growing in Sudur Paschim Province in the past two years. Local government opened approximately 6,000 kilometers of new tracks in the province, however, without considering the environmental requirements.
Province 3 Government formed a recommendation committee to establish a Provincial University. The committee submitted its report to the Chief Minister for further process.
Province 2 Government tabled a bill related to Civil Service in the provincial assembly. The provisions in the Bill allows recruitment of its own employees in the province. Earlier, the government tabled a bill related to Public Service Commission. Both of the bills are interlinked and support the employees’ recruitment in the province.
Japan’s Response to BRI
Sri Lanka approached India and Japan to construct a container terminal at a port in Colombo. This container, constructed next to a Chinese-built terminal under BRI, will cost around USD 500 million, and both the countries will be nominating a company to handle the project. Japan is going to provide a 40-year soft loan with 0.1% interest and 10 years of grace period. This is seen as an effort to balance China’s influence in Sri Lanka.
Modi’s BJP swept the election going above 300 mark out of 543 in the Lower House. BJP along with its allies won a total of 353 seats in the election, letting Modi win a second term as an Indian PM.
Prime Minister KP Oli congratulated his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi for a sweeping landslide victory in the Indian Lok Sabha election 2019. PM Oli went to India India to attend Modi’s oath taking ceremony in New Delhi on May 30. He returned on May 31 after a bilateral meeting with Modi.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli will be on a foreign trip to three European countries from June 9 to 15. The PM will participate in the centennial celebration of International Labour Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and travel to the UK for a lecture at Oxford University, and then to France. Bilateral agreements on establishment of security printing press in Nepal and having own satellite orbit slot would be signed in France. 
MoFA Nepal took an exception with the US’ way of engaging with Nepali public on social media. Ambassador Randy Berry let people ask random questions on Embassy’s social media handle for the exchanges to be shared in weekly video series called ‘Guffgaff with the Ambassador’.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Gyawali criticized the idea by saying this initiation will invite unnecessary controversy and the embassy can directly contact the government for any discussion. There is concern that such program violates the international diplomatic norms and codes of conduct.
Chinese ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi in her first press meet tried to ease the heated debate on cross-border railway saying that the project is complex and will take time. She said the project has four phases – pre-feasibility, feasibility, design, and construction. Only the first phase is completed and the funding modality will be decided only after the feasibility study.
During a reception to celebrate the accession to the throne of Japanese Emperor Naruhito, Japanese Ambassador to Nepal Masamichi Saigo, said Japan will support the vision of “Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali” by deepening and widening bilateral relations between two countries in a dynamic manner.
Tatopani Transit Reopens
Tatopani transit bordering China in Sindhupalchok officially opened on May 29. Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi on behalf of the Chinese government handed over Miteri Bridge, Kodari Highway and the Tatopani dry port to Nepali authority. Chinese authority only allowed traded goods to pass through the point. The Chinese, however, put the border security as a high priority.
Gender and Social Inclusion
A growing number of men in Humla opted for vasectomy. Humla has one of the highest population growth rates in the country. Of the targeted 150 vasectomies, District Health Office, conducted 137 operations at various health camps. Khotang District Hospital held an interaction on safe abortion. Health workers said many women opt for safe abortions in district hospital or primary health centers while still a large number undergo unsafe procedures in different clinics based in Diktel, the district headquarters. 
In 2007, Gyan Maharjan of Khokana formed X-pose, an organization to ‘expose’ the violence against women. Seven years later he began a campaign for menstrual health and started making sanitary pads. Over 700 women are engaged in the organization, which he sells through outlets in Khokana and Pulchowk. Maharjan also reached out to 17 community schools in Lalitpur for raising awareness about menstrual health.
Students at Gangamilan Secondary School in Marsyangdi Rural Municipality have been attending the school on a regular basis after the school started providing them with sanitary pads. Earlier, almost all girls remained absent during their monthly cycle. A local non-government organization donated pads to the school a few months ago to benefit around 150 girl students. Unavailability of sanitary pads is considered a major reason forcing girls to skip school in Prabhat Secondary School of Prabhat Kamalamai Municipality-13, during their menstrual cycle. The school came with a solution making use of locally-available resources and the girls make their pads themselves.
The Federal Budget presented by Finance Minister for the fiscal year 2019/20 allocated budget to provide sanitary pads for free in all the public schools. As this allocation comes into effect, all female students enrolled in public schools will have free access to sanitary pads.
Campaign against child marriage in Gaumul Rural Municipality, Bajura District, seems to be working. The elected representatives have been immediately reaching out to places along with police when informed of such incidents through the students in most of the cases. However, in Budhinanda Municipality of the District, awareness campaign did not give desired results as children of the elected representatives are getting married at a younger age.
Lawmakers of the House of Representatives demanded for a provision of reservation quotas for women within each reservation cluster. The proposed bill also added two more clusters for Tharus and Muslims. As per the proposition, the reservation quotas are divides as 33 per cent for women, 24 for Adiwasi/Janajati, 20 for Madhesi, 9 for Dalits, 4 each for the Disabled, backward districts, Tharu and 3 for Muslim. The backward districts include Accham, Kalikot, Jajarkot, Jumla, Dolpa, Bajhang, Bajura, Mugu and Manang. 
National Demographic Health Survey 2016 indicated that around 41 percent pregnant women in Province 5 give birth at home because women do not have access to free medical services due to the remoteness of their locations. There are 363 birthing centers, 32 health centers, and 14 health centers. But out of the 983 wards in the province, 322 wards still do not have access to health centers.
On May 24, a heap of dry wheat husks caught fire and destroyed six houses including that of three local Dhamis (shamans) in Dhakari, Achham, destroying properties worth around Rs18 million. Dhakari Rural Municipality was declared Chhaupadi-free on May 17. After the fire incident, the villagers propagated the belief that they angered the gods by declaring the municipality Chhaupadi free, and all 72 households in Dhakari have now built temporary Chhau shelters.
Water and Food Security
Families fromManjhkada village of Salyan district are migrating enormously due to the water crisis. This year alone, over 200 households migrated. Locals say that migration affected attendance of children at schools as they travel a long distance to reach school.
Chepang community in southern parts of Dhading district face acute shortage of food every year. They survive on wild fruits and nettle when the food supply runs out. Nepal Chepang Union Central Chair Jitendra Chepang informed that 376 Chepang household in Benighat Rorang Rural Municipality face the crisis all year round. The Children are the worst hit and suffer from malnutrition.
Dowry, Abuse, and Rape
Police arrested Laxman Rajbanshi of Jahada Rural Municipality-4 of Morang who walked out of his wedding after the bride’s family could not meet his dowry demands of a motorcycle a gold chain, a dining table among others.
A recent research by Centre for Legal Research and Resource Development shows that lure of money, goods or benefits in kind are the major causes of child sexual abuse and violence victims.
Ram Ayodhya Mandal, 35, and another unidentified man raped a mentally unsound girl at Parawanipur Rural Municipality-1, Bara. The girl is unable to say her name and address. Manab Sewa Ashram, Birgunj is providing shelter for her.
On 24th March, Rights activists and the victim’s family organized a sit-in at the District Police Office in Kanchanpur demanding identification and arrest of perpetrators who raped and murdered 13-year-old Nirmala Pant ten months back. However, Durga Devi, Nirmala’s mother, after receiving compensation of Rs 1.8 million, stopped asking for justice. But her husband and rights activists are still pursuing the case.
The monthly report of WOREC Nepal has 188 incidents of violence against women from April 14 – May 14 this year. As per the report, the highest number of women suffering from violence is between the age of 26-35 and the highest number of men between 26-35 years of age are the perpetrators.
Due to the thin presence of men due to migration in Naugadh Rural Municipality of Darchula, women are going beyond their conventional roles and becoming breadwinners. Most women are making conscious efforts in learning income-generating skills like vegetable farming. They don’t rely on their husbands for money or to run their household or meet the everyday needs of their children.
Dogadakedar and Surnaya Rural Municipality of Baitadi launched “Goat Gifting Program” for single women for economic empowerment. Two single women from each ward, living in poverty, were selected in this program, and given 5 goats each.
The Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal
Police brought home Parshuram Tamang, 38, of Bhojpur district, from Thailand.
Thai police arrested Tamang, an alleged kingpin of human trafficking racket
based in Bangkok, on March 27. The Interpol issued a diffusion notice against
Tamang at the request of Nepal Police. More than 250 victims filed FIRs against
Tamang at CIB. According to CIB, Tamang fleeced amounts ranging from Rs
500,000 to Rs two million.He then
sent them job offers of Canada and European countries.
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