Nepal Ban congratulates newlyelected Prime Minister

15 August 2008Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today warmly congratulated Pushpa Kamal Dahal – who goes by the name Prachanda – on his election as Nepal’s first Prime Minister since the South Asian nation abolished the monarchy and declared itself a republic. “He calls on all parties to cooperate with the new Government in order to carry forward Nepal’s peace process,” according to a statement.The country – which in 2006 emerged from a decade-long civil war between Government and Maoist forces claiming 13,000 lives – abolished its 240-year-old monarchy in May and is now the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.Prachanda, who is chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), was elected by the Constituent Assembly, which also elected the country’s first President, Ram Baran Yadav, last month.The Secretary-General has characterized the April polls for the Constituent Assembly as historic, but warned in a report in May that those elections are “only a milestone in the peace process,” noting that “the real work of addressing the nation’s deeper socio-economic difficulties and drafting a constitution that reflects the will of the entire nation only begins now.”Last month, the Security Council extended the mandate by six months of the UN political mission in Nepal, known as UNMIN, so that it can complete its monitoring and management of the arms and personnel of Nepal’s army and the former Maoist combatants from the civil war. read more

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Laws on assisted dying dont need to be abolished but people should

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Laws on assisted dying do not need abolishing because people should break them instead, a former Supreme Court judge has said.Delivering the opening speech of this year’s BBC Reith Lecture, Lord Jonathan Sumption QC, who retired from the bench in December, said: “I think the law should continue to criminalise assisted suicide,” before adding: “And I think that the law should be broken from time to time.”The 1961 Suicide Act, criminalises anyone assisting a death and currently, those found guilty of breaking the law on assisted suicide face sentences of up to 14 years in prison.He said that laws forbidding assisted suicide were needed to prevent abuse and to deal with relatives and friends of those who help people to die. However, speaking to an audience of judges and lawyers at Middle Temple in London yesterday [TUES] evening, The Times reported that he said that therewas “no moral obligation to obey the law”.“We need to have a law against it in order to prevent abuse,” he said. “It has always been the case that it’s been criminal, but it’s also been the case that courageous friends and families have helped people to die.That is an untidy compromise few lawyers would adopt but I don’t believe there’s a moral obligation to obey the law. Ultimately it’s for each person to decide.”He added that there needs to be a political process to resolve the issue, highlighting that the Supreme Court has previously ruled that it is a matter for parliament.His comments are likely to reignite debate over assisted dying. The last time that Parliament last voted on assisted dying was in 2015, where a private member’s bill to legalise assistance for people likely to die within six months and for those who are terminally ill, was rejected by 330 to 118.Lord Sumption was responding to questions after giving the first of his Reith lectures, which will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on May 21. read more

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