MoFA withdraws two ambassadorial nominees

Kathmandu, February 27

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has withdrawn the names of two ambassadorial nominees Aasha Lama and Sharmila Parajuli after new revelations on their credentials surfaced recently.

On February 20, the cabinet had decided to pick Lama and Parajuli as envoys to UAE and Oman respectively.

Sources said both Parajuli and Lama were engaged in agencies that outsourced Nepali workers to other countries, including Oman and UAE, and those agencies had several charges relating to cheating and swindling poor workers.

The cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal had recommended 12 other names as envoy to 11 vacant Nepali diplomatic outposts and one mission to Spain. Parajuli was recommended from the Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic quota, while Lama was picked by ruling the Nepali Congress party.

However, MoFA on Friday ‘dropped’ Parajuli and Lama when the final list of nominees was made, said a source.

Yek Raj Pathak, MoFA’s Public Relations coordinator, said that Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat decided to withdraw their names after consulting NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba and the MJF-D Chairman Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar.

On Friday, before leaving for Geneva, Mahat prepared a final list of ambassadorial  nominees and the names of Parajuli and Lama were removed. The list included  only the other 12 nominees and the proposal was submitted to the  Prime Minister’s Secretariat. “No new names have been proposed for ambassadors to Oman and the United Arab Emirates,” Pathak confirmed.

Pathak said that the next cabinet meeting, which is likely to be held tomorrow, will take a formal decision withdrawing their nominations.

Govinda Acharya, the prime minister’s press adviser, said only the cabinet can revoke its own decision on this matter. “It is up to Nepali Congress and MJF-D to keep or remove the nominees from their quota,” Acharya added.

Among the 14 nominees, six were picked from Nepali Congress; four from CPN-Maoist Centre and three from Rastriya Prajatantra Party. The MJF-D had succeeded to nominate one despite being out of the government.

Meanwhile, MJF-D Chairman Gachhadar today called on PM Dahal at Baluwatar to express his reservation on the withdrawal of Parajuli’s name from ambassadorial nomination. “Dahal assured Gachhadar he would look into it and find a solution,” a source privy the meeting told The Himalayan Times.