Recommendation of envoys challenged

Kathmandu, April 21

A writ petition was filed today at the Supreme Court against the government’s recommendation of 21 ambassadors on Tuesday.

Raksharam Chamar filed the writ petition against the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Parliament Secretariat and Office of the President saying the government’s recommendation of 21 ambassadors violated the provisions of the new constitution.

The first hearing in the case is scheduled for tomorrow.

The petitioner argued in his petition that there were 18 nominations from Khas Arya group, which accounts for 31 per cent of population.

He stated in the petition that although Madhesi constituted 33 per cent of the total population, there was just one nominee from the Madhesi community, among the 21 nominees.

Similarly, there is one nominee from the Dalit community, which accounts for 13 per cent of population and one nominee from the Muslim community, which accounts for 4.5 per cent of the population.

The petitioner also argued that there were just two women whose population is 51 per cent.

The petitioner said that the government’s recommendation violated Article 38 (4), 40 (1), and 282 of the constitution.

The petitioner said that if the names that were recommended from among officials in the foreign service were from the same ethnic group, the government should have ensured inclusion while recommending names under the open category.

The petitioner said that the recommendation of the new ambassadors was against the letter and spirit of the constitution, which indicated that the government was not committed to implementing the constitution.

Article 42 (1) of the constitution stipulates: “Women, Dalits, Adibasi, Janjati, Khas Arya, Madhesi, Tharu, minority groups, persons with disability, marginalised groups, Muslims, backward classes, gender and sexually minority groups, youths, peasants, labourers who are economically, socially and educationally backward and the oppressed and the citizens of backward regions, shall have the right to employment in state structures and public service on the basis of the principle of proportional inclusion.”

Article 38 (3) stipulates: “Women shall have the right to participate in all state structures and bodies on the basis of the principle of proportional inclusion.”

Similarly, Article 40 stipulates: “Dalit shall have the right to participate in all organs of the state based on the principle of proportional inclusion.”

The petitioner said that the government must follow the spirit of the social justice clause of the constitution (Article 42) following the clusters of social group while recommending names.

He said there was no nominee from the Tharu community among the 21 names recommended for ambassadors.

The government had named CPN-UML leader Mahendra Bahadur Pandey as ambassador to China and RPP-N vice-chairman Niranjan Thapa as Nepal’s ambassador to Russia.

The government named Unified CPN-Maoist central committee member and indigenous leader Lucky Sherpa as the ambassador to Australia, Dalit leader Padam Sundas for Bahrain, Professor of Tribhuvan University Dr Mahendra Singh for Qatar and chief editor of The Rising Nepal Yubanath Lamsal for Denmark.

Career diplomats nominated on Tuesday include Durga Bahadur Chhetri to be Nepal’s envoy to the United Kingdom, Tara Prasad Pokhrel to Brazil, Ramesh Khanal to Germany, Jabindra Aryal to Egypt, Sewa Adhikary Lamsal to Pakistan, Rishiram Ghimire to Myanmar, Prakash Subedi to Austria and Lok Bahadur Thapa for Belgium.