Govt recommends eight ambassadors, denies space to career diplomats

Kathmandu, 22 June: The political parties have taken full control in appointment of Ambassadors denying any space to career diplomats.

On Friday, the cabinet recommended eight people for the vacant ambassadorial assignments picking up retired bureaucrats and NGO activists, but all with known affiliation to political parties, mainly the Communist Party of Nepal- Unified Marxist Leninist. The cabinet is yet to fill up three more vacancies.

The cabinet decision comes in total violation of the long pending demand of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that at least 60 per cent ambassadorial appointment should be reserved for career diplomats and that the political appointment should not exceed 40 per cent.

Those picked for the challenging appointments Friday include Lokdarshan Regmi, a former Chief Secretary, to India and Chandra Ghimire, another retired bureaucrat to the United States of America.

The current vacancies in diplomatic missions arose following government decision last month to recall diplomatic heads appointed by the government when Nepali Congress was part of it.

NGO leaders, Sushil Pyakurel, Netra Prasad Timsina and Sumnima Tuladhar, all known as pro-UML, have been tipped for South Korea, Malaysia and Denmark respectively. Bijen Pant who served as advisor to the government on Disaster Management with no diplomatic experience has been tipped for the United Kingdom.

Abusufan Khan Musalman has been recommended for Saudi Arabia and Pusparaj Rajkarnikar for Spain.

Three more appointments are likely to be made soon accommodating nominees of the Rashtriya Swatantra Party.