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Kuwait’s Wataniya Airways to start daily flight to Nepal from November 29

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KATHMANDU — Kuwait’s Wataniya Airways is all set to operate direct flights from Kuwait City to Kathmandu and Kathmandu-Kuwait City starting November 29 with narrow-body Airbus A320s to cater growing travel demand with Nepali migrant workers going to the oil-rich country.

Civil Aviation Ministry has given operating authorisation to Wataniya on October 30. The direct service is expected to benefit Nepali migrant workers in Kuwait as Kuwait-bound Nepali travellers currently have to go via Saudi Arabia as there is no direct air connection.

Nepal and Kuwait signed an air service agreement (ASA) in January 2006.

Wataniya flights will land at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) at 11 pm and depart at 12 midnight. The airline, which currently has two narrow-body Airbus A320s, plans to have a total of 50-60 aircraft by 2025.

Just last Tuesday, Wataniya had announced a $2.68 billion deal with Airbus to purchase 25 A320neo aircraft as the carrier plans to expand its network around the world, according to media reports.

Wataniya plans to launch services to 16 destinations in Egypt, the UAE, Lebanon, Jordan, Iran, India, Pakistan and Europe.

Kuwait is the fifth biggest employer of Nepali workers, according to the Department of Foreign Employment.

12,507 Nepalis received permits to work in Kuwait in the last fiscal year. In 2015-16, the number of job aspirants totalled 10,049 individuals.

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Demand for legalizing same-sex marriage

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KATHMANDU- Stakeholders concerned have demanded a law related to same-sex marriage in the context when the Nepal’s constitution and laws have accepted the concept of marital equality.

At an interaction program held with media about the issue of gender identity and sexual orientation by an organization named Yubalaya here Sunday, the demand came as a prompt need of the time by the people concerned.

The complaint of homosexuals was that they were deprived of marriage by choice in the absence of the legalization of same-sex marriage which according to them is the deprivation of fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution.

Blue Diamond Society Program Officer Anuj Peter said though the constitution has promised to make special provisions for protection, empowerment or development of gender and sexual minorities, such vows are yet to be executed in practice.

Peter, who identifies himself as a homosexual, shares that he has been legally denied to marry a man of his choice.

Yubalaya Chair Sabin Singh highlighted the need of support from media and civil society to address the issue of gender identity and sexual minorities regarding same-sex marriage law.

The participants of the program put their queries about marital equality, broader sexual education and safe abortion.

As told by the Society, to date, 30 countries across the world have legalized same-sex marriage and endorsed a law towards that end and the Netherlands was the first country to legalize it in the end of 2000.

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