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All 20 stranded climbers airlifted to Fu village from Sorebung

Gorkha Post

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POKHARA — All 20 stranded climbers, including two German nationals, were rescued from Saribung Peak and brought to Fu village this evening.

Total of 20 people — two foreigners and 18 Nepalis — had been stranded at Sorebung due to bad weather. It lies at the altitude of 5,900 meters, said Chief District Officer of Manang District,Bhimkanta Sharma.

Following a strong snowstorm, the climbers were stuck on the 6346-metre mountain in Mustang district, bordering Tibet.

Two among the 20 climbers have been identified as German nationals Tobias Groenen, 48 and his wife Gutrun Ingritzi Ermann, 44.

Likewise, one guide, one mountaineering Sherpa and 16 porters are among the 18-member Nepali team, according to Sharma.

The climbers, who had started trekking from Damodarkunda of Manang district, got trapped at Sorebung due to snow storm before they reached Fu village.

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New govt likely to have 18 ministers

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KATHMANDU — The new government is likely to have 15 to 18 ministries in total as Prime mInister KP Sharma Oli is preparing to give his cabinet a full shape.

As per discussion between Prime Minister Oli and CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the government may include Madhes-based parties to make the government inclusive and have two-thirds majority in the Parliament.

According to Article 76 (9) of the constitution, the number of ministers cannot exceed 25 in the federal Cabinet. With the new constitution limiting the size of Council of Ministers to 25, the new governing team could be limited to 18 members including three state ministers. A formal decision on the matter is yet to be taken.

Speaking at a program organised in Kathmandu on Tuesday, UML leader Pradeep said: “Cabinet expansion is likely to take place on Wednesday. A few Maoist ministers will be joining the Oli government.”

“Our taskforce has recommended that the government form a 15-member Cabinet. Some of the ministries will be integrated and others scrapped.”

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Ishwor Pokhrel, Pradeep Gyawali, Rabindra Adhikari, Raghubir Mahaseth, Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal and Padma Aryal are the probable ministerial candidates from the UML.

Like3wise, Maoist chair Dahal and senior CPN-MC leaders Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Ram Bahadur Thapa have been given the responsibility of selecting ministers from their party.

Probable ministerial candidates from the Maoist Centre include Ram Bahadur Thapa, Matrika Yadav, Pampha Bhusal, Devendra Poudel, Lekhraj Bhatta, Chakrapani Khanal, Pun, Girirajmani Pokhrel and Dev Gurung, according to the sources.

Thapa may lead the CPN-MC in the government as deputy prime minister. Yadav is being considered for appointment since he represents Madhes, Bhusal as a woman while Poudel is one of the leaders who joined the party lately. Poudel had left the Baburam Bhattarai-led Naya Shakti Party to join the Maoist Centre just ahead of unification talks with the UML.

Leaders involved in discussions said the Maoist Centre could appoint up to eight ministers if the Cabinet size does not exceed 18.

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