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Govt shuts down UN’s DPA office in Nepal

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KATHMANDU — The government has decided to shut down Kathmandu office of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs (DPA), saying that Nepal’s peace process has successfully concluded after the completion of the three-tier elections under the new constitution.

The DPA was set up as a liaison office at the office of the UN Resident Coordinator after the United Nations Mission in Nepal ceased operations in 2011.

A cabinet meeting held last week took the decision to shut down the DPA office that was in operation as the residual office of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN).

The government move comes after reports that the UN body courted controversy over its involvement in various unwarranted activities. The office faced allegations of supporting separatist elements and working in tandem with western countries promoting similar agenda in Nepal.

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Earlier this year, the office was dragged into a controversy after it was found carrying out an unauthorized political survey under the cover of UN Resident Coordinator.

The government has already written to the UN-DPA at the UN headquarters, with a copy to the UN office in Kathmandu, about its decision.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) Spokesperson Bharat Raj Paudyal said that the government has decided to shut down the office as Nepal is now already moving ahead on the path of stability and progress after successfully forming elected governments at both provincial and federal levels.

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Dolpa Ward Chairman held on charge of idol theft

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DOLPA — Karma Gurung, Chairman of Dolpo Buddha Rural Municipality-5 in Upper Dolpa, was arrested on charge of idol theft from Kathmandu. A team of police personnel from the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) has arrested Gurung from Bauddha in the capital city.

Police said that Ward Chairman Karma was held for allegedly stealing Buddha idols from Rahap Monastery situated in She-Phoksundo Rural Municipality-4.

Gurung, an independent candidate, was elected the ward chair in the recent local level elections but later joined the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) after the unification of two communist parties.

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Likewise, Ukren Pasang Gurung, 41, and Pasang Lundup Gurung of She-phoksundo Rural Municipality; Jhyampachhuldim Lama, 41, and Tshering Dawa Gurung, 43, of Dolpo Buddha Rural Municipality were also held from a special team of CIB.

Asked about the arrest of ward chairman, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) of Dolpa District Police Office Awadesh Bista confirmed Karma Gurung’s arrest on charge of idol theft and added that further investigations were ongoing.

A total of 42 Buddha’s idols were stolen from Rahap Monastery some eight years ago but the locals had noticed the issue just some four months ago.

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