KATHMANDU, Dec 28: The government has recommended ambassadors from among career diplomats to various five countries including Thailand, Switzerland, Canada, France and Kuwait. A cabinet meeting held last week also decided to recall Nepali ambassadors to South Korea, Spain and Bangladesh appointed by the erstwhile Sher Bahadur Deuba-led cabinet.
Joint Secretaries at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) Ganesh Prasad Dhakal has been recommended for ambassador to Thailand, Mani Prasad Bhattarai to Switzerland, Bhrigu Dhungana to Canada, Dipak Adhikari to France, and Durga Prasad Bhandari has been recommended for ambassador to Kuwait, according to Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Banskota. They are also concurrently accredited to other countries as non-resident ambassadors.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Gyawali had earlier announced to appoint at least 50 percent ambassadors from among career diplomats and the remaining would be political appointees. Although the recent nominations appear to have honored seniority, it is conspicuous why the ministry chose to exclude the senior-most joint secretary working at the ministry in Kathmandu, Bharat Raj Paudyal, for ambassadorial appointment.
After Paudyal joint secretaries Ganesh Prasad Dhakal, Mani Prasad Bhattarai, Bhrigu Dhungana, Dipak Adhikari, Gehendra Rajbhandari, Durga Prasad Bhandari, Tapas Adhikari, Ram Kaji Khadka and Ghanshyam Bhandari are in the descending order of seniority.
Earlier, MoFA Joint Secretary Krishna Prasad Dhakal was recommended as ambassador to the UAE.
Currently, ambassadorial positions in Nepal's Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York and South Africa are lying vacant. Sources said the government is preparing to send joint secretary Amrit Rai, who was recalled recently from South Africa, to New York.
Three envoys recalled
The government has decided to recall three ambassadors -- Arjun Jung Bahadur Singh from South Korea, Bharat Bahadur Rayamajhi from Spain, and Prof Dr Chop Lal Bhushal from Bangladesh. Now altogether five ambassadorial positions remain vacant. The envoys were appointed by the then erstwhile Nepali Congress-led government.
Although the government recalled the three envoys, it has decided not to recall other envoys appointed by the previous NC-led government. The government has not stated anything as to why they were recalled and why the remaining envoys appointed by the same government were spared.
No decision yet on Sherpa
Government spokesman Banskota said although a probe committee has already submitted its report on the charges made against Nepali ambassador to Australia, Lucky Sherpa, the government has not taken any decision on her fate yet. He however said the government will soon come up with a decision.
MoFA had started an internal investigation after former driver of ambassador Sherpa accused her of being involved in human trafficking. Sherpa had been summoned to Kathmandu to furnish her clarifications on the charge.