Retreat venue continues to confound authorities

Kathmandu, August 26

Just three days remain for the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation summit to begin, but the government is yet to finalise the venue for the retreat.

Will it be Soaltee Crowne Plaza, Gokarna Forest Resort or some other place in the heart of the capital?

The government didn’t have an answer, at least till THT went to the press.

The retreat was originally planned to be hosted at Gokarna Forest Resort. But the government cancelled the venue following the Thai government’s intimation saying that Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha would not travel by road to Gokarna Forest Resort because of security reasons and the condition of the road.

A day after THT broke the news surrounding the uncertainties, government sources are clueless about alternatives.

Earlier today, security teams inspected Soaltee Crowne Plaza – the summit venue – most likely to host the retreat. Sources also indicated that the government was also looking at hosting the retreat in the Garden of Dreams at Keshar Mahal. The other likely venue is Dwarika's Resort, Dhulikhel as during the SAARC summit.

“But the venue is yet to be finalised,” a source said.

During a media briefing on Friday on preparations for the summit, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Gyawali had said that the retreat venue was yet to be finalised.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bharat Raj Paudyal told THT today that the government would soon finalise the venue for the retreat.