Nepal may face crisis even after polls, says Lowenkron

Kathmandu, June 1:

The visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Barry R Lowenkron, today cautioned that Nepal was likely to be in the grip of challenges currently confronting the nation even after the election to constituent assembly are conducted later this year.

“Nepal will still be confronting challenges even after the election to constituent assembly,” Lowenkron told reporters after meeting Prime Minister Giriaj Prasad Koirala at his residence today.

Lowenkron, who is the latest US dignitary to visit Nepal, also wondered why the Maoists have launched the Young Communist League (YCL). He said he raised this issue and said that there was no point in having it since the agreement signed between the political parties says that they have agreed to work together. “I pointed out the issue to the PM and said that there was no need to have it since parties have expressed the willingness to work together for democracy,” Lowenkron said.

He also said that while he welcomed the latest development whereby the parties have agreed to hold election by December 15, but a lot remained to be done. The Prime Minister is also said to have expressed apology for the stoning of the US envoy’s car in Jhapa last week by unruly youth.

The US dignitary also said that the US was concerned about the resettlement of Bhutanese refugees in the US and that his assistant will visit Nepal to “evaluate” the ongoing process for the same later this year.

Dr Suresh Chalise, who is PM Koirala’s foreign policy advisor, said that Lowenkron also asked why the government was not making appointments to the vacant positions at the NHRC. “The Prime Minister assured him that the appointment will be made shortly,” Dr Chalise said.