Rice saddened by death of USAID officials

Kathmandu, September 26:

The United States Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, today expressed deep sorrow over the death of two “colleagues” of the US Agency for International Development’s Nepal mission.

“Today we are greatly saddened to have learned of the deaths of two colleagues at the Nepal Mission of USAID. Our thoughts and condolences are with the families of all the victims at this time of mourning,” Rice said in a statement.

Margaret Alexander and Dr Bijnan Acharya were on board the Shree Airlines helicopter that crashed on September 23 in Taplejung district. “The duo was instrumental in ensuring sustainable use of Nepal’s rich natural resources while promoting democratic principles and transparency,” the statement said. “They will be missed by the State Department and USAID colleagues and friends,” the statement added. Minister of State for Forests and Soil Conservation, Gopal Rai and Finnish Charge D’Affaires Pauli Mustonen were among those who died in the crash.