Blast near Japanese embassy in Nepal

Updated on Oct 01, 2007 08:39 PM IST

A bomb went off in front of the Japanese Embassy on Monday afternoon in Kathmandu, but there were no injuries, reports Anirban Roy.

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Hindustan Times | By, Kathmandu

A bomb went off in front of the Japanese Embassy on Monday afternoon in Kathmandu, but there were no injuries. The blast occurred at Lazimpat, the high-security diplomatic enclave of Kathmandu.

According to eyewitnesses, two persons on a motorbike threw a plastic bag on the pavement in front of the Japanese Embassy gate and the bomb exploded immediately.

No organisation has claimed responsibility for the blast as yet and a massive cordon and search operation has been launched to nab the culprits.

The blast in front of the Japanese Embassy created panic in the diplomatic enclave and there are more than half-a-dozen embassies, including the US mission, in the area.

Nepal Police has alerted all the foreign embassies and consulates in Kathmandu and directed them to be extra careful in screening visitors. Earlier, on September 2, three simultaneous blasts had rocked the busy city of Kathmandu, killing at least two persons and injuring over two dozen others.

'Changes in law not possible'

Nepal's Election Commission made it clear that it would be impossible to bring in any changes in the system for the Constituent Assembly election. Any change in the election system would entail a series of legal and technical changes, Election Commissioner Nilkantha Upreti told the Kantipur FM radio.

The EC is caught in a bind since there has been a growing demand from the Maoists for a proportional representation in the CA election scheduled to be held on November 22.

"It (changing election system) is not as simple and quick as changing a car," Upreti, said. The EC on Sunday was forced to extend the dates of filing nominations for the CA election by five days as political parties were yet to complete the paperwork for electoral formalities.

Rather, the senior leaders of the political parties were busy attending a series of meetings with Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and trying to appease the Maoist leadership, especially, Prachanda.

"Any change in the election system will necessitate changes of the interim constitution and some of the acts passed in the parliament," Upreti claimed.

At present, the EC is ready for the election in a mixed system. If the Maoist demand for a fully proportional representation and it is accepted, it would mean major delays in the election schedule. CEC Bhoj Raj Pokharel claimed on Sunday that the EC would not be able to make any further change in the election schedule.

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    Anirban Roy is the Deputy Resident Editor of HT’s Bhopal and Indore editions. A journalist for last 22 years, he has reported from India’s north-east and closely covered the Maoists’ Peoples’ War in Nepal.

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