The Assamese have modified their original stand on the foreigners issue, saying that they do not want their repatriation”but only their detention”. This climbdown to an olive branch now offered to the Centre to “diffuse tensions in Assam”, student leaders and Gana Sangram Parishad sources said. Denouncing the “occupation army-like behaviour” of the military and police forces in the strongest possible terms, they seriously regretted that while they had revised their stand, the Centre was “not showing any willingness to budge from their position”. The Assamese leaders said that they had changed their position on the repatriation of Bangladeshi migrants because it would be “inhuman” to do so.
Government mints are working overtime to refine 13,993 kgs of gold and make bars for refund to the gold bond holders after October this year. The gold had been given by the citizens under the National Defence Gold Bond Scheme in 1965 in wake of the war with Pakistan. About 1.4 lakh bond holders will get back their gold holdings. They were not only getting regular interest on their possession, but the value of gold has skyrocketed during the last 15 years. Prices have gone up from Rs 130 to Rs 1,400 per ten grams. The finance ministry will refund the precious metal through 1,000 centres.
“Our relations with China will be ‘very ‘friendly’ and our relations with India will be the friendliest,” said B P Koirala, Nepal’s only democratically elected former prime minister. The man can do it again, become PM, if the Nepalese people vote for multi-party parliamentary democracy in the referendum on May 2. In an exclusive interview to The Indian Express on the eve of the elections, Koirala said that “Nepal belongs to the Asian comity of nations. We will have to keep the Americans and Russians at a distance”.