Oli shows unawareness of Dahal's statement on Venezuela

Published On: January 27, 2019 04:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 27: Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has voiced his unawareness about a controversial statement on the South American country of Venezuela issued by fellow-Chairperson of Nepal Communist Party Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Friday.

Talking to journalists at Tribhuvan International Airport upon his arrival back from Switzerland on Saturday, Oli said he had only "heard a little bit" about Dahal's statement. Asked for his comment, Oli, who is one of two chairpersons of the ruling NCP, declined to do so without learning about the statement in detail.

“I have heard a little bit about it and I have just arrived back,” Oli said. “I don't think it will be wise to comment on an issue without knowing about it in detail or reading up on it .”

In his statement concerning recent developments in Venezuela, Dahal had slammed the US and its allies for what he called "intervention in the internal affairs" of that country, thus joining China and Russia in supporting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Oli instead shared a story about a buzz in political circles following a hoax news story. He said, “Once, when Krishna Prasad Bhattarai was prime minister, there was a buzz that Bhattarai had had a fall and was injured. We also became worried and started an immediate inquiry. But Bhattarai himself was unaware about any such accident. It was someone else with the same surname.” Oli didn't stop there. “You may also have seen a news report with my photo about a death in a jeep accident,” he said. Sometimes some such particulars could turn out to be divorced from reality.

Asked about Dr Govinda KC's demand for his resignation and the NC's warnings of a confrontation following the endorsement of the National Medical Education Bill in the teeth of fierce opposition in parliament, Oli said not to worry . “There is no need to worry about any confrontation just because some people may be discontented. Differences are natural in democracy and should be taken in stride accordingly,” he said .

Responding to a question whether he did anything about illegal money deposited by Nepalis in Swiss banks, Oli termed media reports about this a 'rumor' and claimed lightheartedly that the truth would come to light in due time. The Center for Investigative Journalism had just recently reported that 55 Nepalis had hoarded illegal cash in foreign banks including Swiss.

“I was not in Switzerland to check bank accounts, I was there to attend the World Economic Forum program in Davos. About the rumor, the truth about how much of it was right or wrong or how it came out in the media will emerge with the passage of time,” Oli said.

Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali, who was a member of the Nepali delegation to Davos, said the meeting in Switzerland helped in creating a conducive environment in Nepal for foreign investment.

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