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World's Top Media Highlighted Nepal's Maoist Prime Minister

New York, August 19, 2008- What sells in the world of media? Fading communism or exotic Maoism? Yes, both words have got a new lease on life when the Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) or in short CPN-Maoists, Prachanda was elected as the first Prime Minister of Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal on August 16, 2008.

USNepalOnline.Com has selected the following headlines from the world's leading print and online media about Prachanda's election to Prime Minister of Nepal.

The New York Times

The New York Times, the 3rd largest US newspaper with more than 16 lakhs in print and the online edition nytimes.com with more than 18 millions a month visits, both published the news.

In print, it carried a front (1st) page photo of Prachanda titled "Nepal Elects A Maoist"

Inside, 1/3 page 6 columns detailed the story under 'International Report', page A6, "Nepal, a Hindu Monarchy for Centuries, Elects a Maoist to Be the Prime Minister".

Reporters Tilak Pokhrel and Somini Sengupta wrote: "The leader of the decade-long Maoist rebellion in Nepal was elected prime minister on Friday after four months of political wrangling. His victory sets the stage for the former rebels’ toughest challenge: how to uplift the lives of 27 million people in one of the poorest countries in the world at a time of soaring food and fuel prices."

The article further mentioned, " The Maoists have already achieved their main goal, ending 239 years of Hindu monarchy. At its first session, in May, a Constituent Assembly declared Nepal a federal republic. The former king, Gyanendra, the world’s last Hindu monarch, was forced to vacate the main palace here and live as a commoner....

As they form a government, the Maoists face their biggest challenge ever. Fuel is in short supply in the cities and hunger looms in the countryside. The Maoists will also press to integrate their former fighters into Nepal’s army, a demand that the army is likely to resist vigorously.

The Maoists remain on the United States’ list of banned terrorist organizations, although American officials have established contact with their political leaders, including Prachanda. “We hope that election of the prime minister removes the last barrier to speedy formation of a government, constructive action on key issues facing Nepal and a start on the difficult but necessary task of drafting Nepal’s new constitution,” the American Embassy said Friday in a statement."

Url: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/nepal/index.html

The Wall Street Journal

The 2nd largest US financial daily newspaper, The Wall Street Journal with more than 20 lakhs circulation, carried a brief front page article titled " Nepal's National Assembly chose the former rebel leader as the new prime minister". On its A4 World News Section it gave bigger space with Prachanda's photo and longer article,

"The election opens the way for the formation of a new government , capping a peace process that ended a civil war in which more than 13,000 people died since 1996."

The Times of India

The Times of India, the world's largest circulation English daily newspaper with 79 lakhs copies in print wrote, "Prachanda elected Nepal Prime Minister",

"Maoist chief Prachanda was on Friday elected as the first Prime Minister in post-monarchy Nepal as he swept a Constituent Assembly vote trouncing his Nepali Congress rival, four months after leading the former rebels to a surprise victory in the polls."



One of the world's premier news agencies, Reuters, chose as its headline " 'Fierce' ex-Maoist chief becomes first Nepal PM",

"Maoist chief elected as Nepal's new prime minister" reported by Gopal Sharma, written by Bappa Majumdar and Edited by Paul Tait and Angus MacSwan wrote, "Lawmakers elected a Maoist who led a decade-long insurgency against the Hindu monarchy as Nepal's new prime minister on Friday, marking the Himalayan nation's change into a democratic republic...

But once he came out of the jungle, Prachanda transformed himself from a revolutionary insurgent into a wily politician, insisting that Maoists are not "dogmatic communists" and that globalisation and free markets were facts of life."

URL: http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSDEL243150


BBC's Charles Haviland wrote from Kathmandu, "Prachanda: The challenges ahead",

"The elevation of Nepal's chief Maoist, the leader of the former rebels, Prachanda, to the prime ministership is something he could barely have dreamt of just three years ago...

The last two years have been full of historic symbolism as the old Hindu kingdom became a secular republic, sweeping away all references to its past, to the delight of some and the dismay of others.

But at the same time, state authority has crumbled so much that many Nepalis are in utter despair....

On a different matter, having a Maoist prime minister may help resolve the future of the 19,000 Maoist former combatants still in camps as part of the UN-assisted peace process.

With a new prime minister and president at last in place, one more task can also get properly under way - the writing of a new constitution by the huge assembly elected in April."

Haviland ended his comments with this, "There has been enough talking. The work must now begin."

URL: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7562692.stm


AFP's headlined with "Nepal braces for revolution with ex-warlord as PM".

It wrote, "Nepal is set for more major change after the Maoist leader and former warlord Prachanda was declared prime minister promising to deliver a left-wing revolution.

The charismatic leader -- whose nom-de-guerre means "the fierce one" -- was overwhelmingly elected as the impoverished country's most powerful man in a vote by lawmakers late Friday."



CNN.Com reported "Former communist becomes Nepal PM",

"The leader of Nepal's former communist rebels was named as the country's new prime minister Friday.

Prachanda is still the supreme commander of the Maoists People's Liberation Army...

Besides completing the peace process, the new government has to face many challenges including inflation, lawlessness, impunity and ethnic aspirations."

URL: http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/08/15/nepal.prime.minister/index.html

-Pratha Magar in New York. Comments? 551-358-7726


The New York Times front page news about Prachanda. (August 16, 2008)

The New York Times A6 page news about Prachanda. (August 16, 2008)

The Wall Street Journal A4 page news about Prachanda. (August 16-17, 2008)

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