DV ‘victims’ come up with stir plans

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 3:

An organisation representing the people who have failed to secure the Diversity Visa to the US as far back as 1998 has announced peaceful agitation to press their demand that the US mission in Kathmandu should look into their cases in a positive light.

“All of us who were denied the DV at the last moment feel the US mission works on arbitrary lines, as they do not furnish any reason for denial,” said Rajendra Bastakoti, ad hoc chairman of the DV Deprived Concern Committee.

He, like others from among 175 persons who have come into contact with the ad hoc committee formed to take up the cause with the government and various human rights agencies, lamented the way the visas are awarded and denied. “Imagine we have doctors and engineers who have been denied visas. The worst part is that the visa is denied at the last moment after much money has been spent in putting all the relevant papers together,” Bastakoti said at the Reporters’ Club. He said that the number of such people could be much more.

The organisation has put forth its demands which comprise that the US mission should issue visa to those who have submitted the visa fee and also reimburse the amount which has been spent in the entire exercise. Visa applicants have to pay $ 435 apart from over Rs 200,000 on medical tests.

The protest programmes include silent rally, corner meeting and taking up the issue at the international level. A Nepali lawyer based in Australia has volunteered to take up the challenge of fighting for the deprived people.

Meanwhile, the US embassy functionary, Laura Lucas, clarified the matter saying “winning lottery does not guarantee visa”. She said the criteria include financial standing of the applicant and other qualifications listed on web site.