Kathmandu, February 10
The international community has best remembered former prime minister and Nepali Congress president late Sushil Koirala for his commitment to democracy as well as his roles in the struggle for pluralism and social justice abroad.
Koirala passed away at his residence in Maharajgunj in the wee hours on Tuesday.
While expressing his grief on the demise of Koirala, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hailed Koirala for guiding Nepal through its difficult transition and constitution-writing process.
“The Secretary-General is saddened by the passing of former prime minister and Nepali Congress leader Sushil Koirala, a widely respected political leader who guided Nepal through its complex transition and constitutional process,” Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.
“Koirala worked tirelessly to unify people and bring parties together in a spirit of compromise; he greatly contributed towards Nepal’s democratisation and peace process,” the statement quoted Ban as saying.
Separately, UN Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffery Feltman today telephoned Acting President of Nepali Congress Ramchandra Paudel and conveyed his deep condolences on the sad demise of Koirala.
In her condolence message sent to Paudel, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recalled Koirala’s role in Nepal’s constitution-making and Bangladesh’s War of Liberation.
“His demise will be a loss not only for Nepal but for South Asian region as a whole,” Hasina said. “We, in Bangladesh, will never forget the courageous and selfless role played by him during our glorious War of Liberation.”
Koirala had been honoured as a “Friend of Bangladesh” in 2012 for his courageous support to the people of Bangladesh during the War of Liberation in 1971.
Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Mahmood Ali also paid his last respects to the late leader by visiting Nepal. Before returning home later today, Foreign Minister Ali met Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa and discussed bilateral relations.
Socialist International’s Secretary General Luis Ayala, in his condolence message, remembered Koirala’s lifetime dedication to social justice, democratic pluralism and his unwavering commitment to democracy.
Koirala was active in the movement of Socialist International.
Likewise, Bhutanese Home and Culture Affairs Minister Dawa Gyeltshen Sherpa also paid his final tribute to Koirala. He had arrived in Kathmandu earlier today.
Secretary General of Nationalist Congress Party of India DP Tripathi also visited Nepal and paid homage to the departed leader.
In his condolence message, Israeli Ambassador Yaron Mayer recalled the late leader a “good friend of Israel” and said his demise was an irreparable loss to the nation.
French and the United States embassies in Kathmandu have also extended their sincere condolences to the Koirala family and to the Nepali people.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, Hugo Swire shared his sadness on demise of Koirala.
In a statement, Swire said history would remember Koirala’s incomparable contributions.
A version of this article appears in print on February 11, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.