Royal address lacking in substance, say analysts

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, April 23:

Former envoys and politicians have interpreted the King’s address at the Asian-African summit in Jakarta in differing light. While those resenting the palace’s increasing role in politics ruled out any good, those with the palace appreciated the outcome. “This (addressing the conference) will not improve the country’s image. What is important is where diplomacy takes us. In fact, diplomacy did not take Josef Broz Tito of Yugoslavia anywhere,” said former SAARC Secretary General Yadav Kant Silwal. He was speaking at the Reporters’ Club today.

He said this by way of expressing discord with a section of the people who are under the impression that presenting the external facade in good light goes a long way in diplomacy. He added bilaterals never pay off, a view which was contested by ex-envoy Shailendra Upadhayay. The latter said that ties with China and India were crucial for Nepal’s progress.

Silwal said it would have been better had the King sat down with all the stakeholders before drawing up a long term vision. He was also against an egoistic characteristic marring national politics.

Former envoy to China Rajeswore Acharya said going abroad and attending the conference only is not enough. He said the indicator of the latest visit to Indonesia would lie in how fast the SAARC summit takes place. He added greater importance should be given to ways that would improve the parties-palace ties. Former minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat said it was irrelevant to talk about the outcome of the meet. He said that as long as the institutions are not allowed to build up, there is no point in making commitments. He added that the fact that the situation is worsening becomes evident from the arrival of the UN to monitor rights abuses. He added the international community has not paid attention to what was said by Nepal since “they know what is unfolding here with the country passing through the worst phase ever.” Former envoy Shailendra Upadhayay, Balram Singh Malla and Biswa Pradhan referred to the ties with China and India, commitment to democracy and call to counter terrorism and rapport with world leaders as achievements from the King’s point of view.