KATHMANDU, Aug 6: The government has begun searching significant documents relating to Nepal in the British Library, UK, and Kolkata Library, India. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday shared this information.
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pradeep Gyawali, informed at the meeting of the Delegated Legislation and Government Assurance Committee under the National Assembly that the government had begun the search and study of documents on Nepal's authentic map and the treaties/agreements Nepal made in the foreign libraries via diplomatic representatives. "Historic map of Nepal, map showing borders, and the agreements/treaties Nepal have become signatories could be found in the foreign libraries. So the visits to the British and Kolkata libraries began," he added, saying that queries and curiosity are on relating to the original copies of the Sugauli Treaty 1816, and Nepal-India Peace and Friendship Treaty 1950, so the search was begun.
According to him, the Royal Palace here had significant and sensitive documents. "Government after people's movement 1990 brought those under its possession, but whether all were brought is still a matter of study," he added. He said the additional search was essential for the same. The original documents of international treaties and protocols were in the Ministry of Law and their copies were kept even in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to Gyawali. Similarly, Education Minister Giriraj Mani Pokharel shared that the government was studying the issues of keeping important documents record as an archive.
National assembly member Dinanath Sharma said that he was deprived of studying higher education because the Tribhuvan University did not keep a record of the students. He said that he had passed BA-BEd in 2031BS and he was eager to study Masters Level in 2063 BS but did not get enrollment due to lack of the university records. He shared that his educational documents were burnt to ashes by then Royal Nepal Army while raiding his home.
The Committee had sent a letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Land Reform asking to appraise theirs works carried out in the library on the documents of the national importance. The Committee had also asked these Ministries to start archiving the important documents, sending all those documents to the National Archives of Nepal and making the documents ready for the public to access them for study and research.
Nepal's authentic map not found
Committee President Ram Narayan Bidari shared that during their study on the library that carried the history of Nepal, they did not find the authentic map of Nepal. Furthermore, there were not any authentic documents relating to the Sugauli Treaty. He elaborated, "We could not find the authentic documents of the Sugauli Treaty nor did we find the authentic map of Nepal. The public should be able to see/study those documents." The legal provision has it that the documents of national importance should be archived in the National Archives Nepal after 25 years of the documents coming into existence.
"But there seems to be no archiving as such," stressed Bidari. He instructed the Minister for Education to manage the proper achieving of the documents of national importance that were in the libraries damaged by the Gurkha Earthquake. Such books, according to him, were packed in sacks. The big libraries of the country are Keshar Library, Central Library of Tribhuwan University, National Library, Library in the Supreme Court, Library in the Federal Parliament and Narayanhiti Library.
The Committee has suggested the government that it operated these libraries in a systematic manner.