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Prachanda`s son forced to return $250,000 grant

Last Updated: Sunday, March 18, 2012 - 19:18

Kathmandu: The son of Maoist chief Prachanda
was on Sunday forced to return a whopping USD 250,000 grant from
his father`s government to scale Mt Everest after the
opposition launched a protest demanding scrapping its
"immoral" decision.

Youths and student activists belonging to main opposition
party Nepali Congress and CPN-UML burnt the effigy of Prime
Minister Baburam Bhattarai today staged massive protests to
press the government to withdraw the cash offer to Prakash
Dahal to scale Mt Everest, the world`s highest peak.

Forced by the public outrage against the Maoist-led
gorvernment`s decision, Prakash, 30, who is a part of 11-men
expedition team, told a press confrence here, "The
Lumbini-Everest Peace Mission 2012 has decided not to accept
the aid provided by the government."

"We want to return the money to the government, showing
respect for the sentiments of the Nepali people."

He said he wanted the money instead to be given to the
families of the 16,000 killed in the country`s decade-long
civil war which ended in 2006.

Prakash has claimed that he has take up the challenge
"for the sake of the country, the people and peace and the

He, however, said that the mission would not stop despite
its decision to reject the government fund.

The meeting of Council of Ministers on Friday allotted
the sum to the team that is leaving for the expedition
of the 8,848 metre Mount Everest on March 29.

The opposition leaders have accused that the government
has encouraged corruption by granting the tax payers money to
the son of the Maoist leader.

"This was an immoral decision taken by the government,
which only encourages corruption in the name of scaling the
Everest," said Prachanda Manandhar, secretary of Nepali
Congress Kathmandu District Committee.


First Published: Sunday, March 18, 2012 - 16:11

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