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Argentina sinks Chinese vessel for fishing illegally

Gorkha Post

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BUENOS AIRES — Argentina’s Navy has announced that it used gunfire to sink a Chinese-flagged boat that was fishing illegally in national waters.

After the incident, China’s government said it expressed its serious concern to Argentina and called for an investigation.

The boat was intercepted on Monday off the coast of Puerto Madryn, about 1,460 kilometres south of Buenos Aires, the navy statement said yesterday.

The statement said the boat did not heed warning calls and instead tried to ram an Argentine naval vessel. Sailors then shot holes in different parts of the fishing boat, causing it to sink, the navy said.

Four people on board were rescued and arrested. They remained in custody and were to go before a federal judge in southern Chubut province, the statement said.

The navy said it had been 15 years since one of its vessels last sank a foreign vessel fishing illegally in Argentina’s waters.

In Beijing, Lu Kang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, posted a statement on the ministry’s website saying the boat had been fishing in Argentine waters and was chased for several hours before Argentine naval fire holed the vessel.

It said four Chinese were picked up by the Argentines and 28 more were rescued by a nearby Chinese vessel.

The statement did not directly address the question of whether the boat was fishing illegally or tried to ram the Argentine navy vessel.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Embassy to Argentina have lodged urgent representations with Argentina, expressing serious concern, urging Argentina to carry out a full investigation immediately and to inform China of the details, to protect the safety and lawful rights of Chinese sailors, and to take effective measures to avoid similar incidents,” the statement said.

AP

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Drinking water shortage hits life at Yasok in Panchthar

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PACHTHAR — A shortage of drinking water at Yasok Bazar, the center of Kummayak Rural Municipality, has thrown the normal life of the locals out of gear.

The problem arose after the local market management committee removed water pipes installed in the bazaar area. Per household here was getting 50 liters of drinking water once in two days before this.

Water scarcity here is not a new occurrence at Yasok which normally remains dry, but the complete disruption in the supply of taps water has paralysed the life, according to local hotelier Keshab Thapa.

There is no natural or artificial water source nearby the area and locals are forced to dependent on the supply by the local government through tractors in a very limited quantity.

The rural municipality has started fetching water from the local Chhorunga stream and distributing it to the locals. Tractors are used to transport stream water to the area.

Earlier, the 650 households at Yasok were using drinking water supplied by the Yasok Deurali Drinking Water Project. Regular supply (once in two days) was too less to meet demand. There is a demand for some 250,000 liters of water at Yasok per day.

According to Yasok Market Management Consumers Committee secretary Mahendra Bahadur Khadka, water pipes were removed (without any alternative arrangements) in course of market management efforts and it will take some more days to restore them and water scarcity is to go for more few days

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