DV winners to stage protest

Kathmandu, January 25:

More than 90 people, claiming that the US embassy rejected their visa application without any basis, have decided to stage a fast-unto death from January 29. These people, who

won the US Diversity Immigration Visa (DV) lottery of the US government, say they US embassy rejected their visa application without any basis and that they have already spent hundreds of thousands of rupees as visa interview charge.

They have been organising various programmes to protest against the rejection of visa since December 26. Meanwhile, the DV Victims’ Central Struggle Committee (DVCSC) submitted a five-point demand to the US embassy seeking compensation.

They have also demanded that the US embassy charge the visa interview fee only when a visa is confirmed and also inform the applicants beforehand if their documents are inappropriate for acquiring a visa. They have also said the documentation fee is very high and that Nepalis cannot afford it. Robert Hugins, spokesperson of the Embassy of US, said , “The protestors are seeking refunding of the non-refundable fee and this is not possible as it is set by the law.”

“It’s really unfortunate that the protestors are sleeping outside in the cold and planning to fast unto death. No one’s health and life should be endangered over the issue,” he said.

He stated that the problem has been created because the applicants failed to follow direction.

Hugins informed that the protestors turned down the embassy officials’ offer to arrange their meeting with the deputy chief of the mission to discuss their complaints on January 18 and 19. “We are for a do or die mission,” said Sita Bastakoti, one of the protesters.

She said UML general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal and the US ambassador James F Moriarty are meeting to discuss this issue tomorrow.