By Krandan Chapagain, Kathmandu
10 February 2017
Only his daughter can fix the anti-Maoist and anti-Prachanda sentiment rife in certain sections of the Nepali diaspora in Australia, claims father of Lucky Sherpa whose name has been recommended by the ruling Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) as a candidate for Nepal’s ambassador to Australia.
Shyam Sundar Sherpa, a former Associate Professor at the Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, says his daughter is the most suitable person for the job given her proven track record in working with various interest groups in Nepal.
His daughter should get the job also because she represents the indigenous communities of the country as well as Nepali women, Mr Sherpa further added.
A master in economics, Ms Sherpa has already served as a Member of Parliament through the current opposition, Communist Party of Nepal (UML) and is believed to in good terms with the wife of Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba, another person of influence in the game of ambassadorial appointment.
However, southasia.com.au understands that supporters of Nepali Congress based in Australia are putting pressure on foreign minister Prakash Sharan Mahat (also a Nepali Congress leader) to ensure that his party gets the “quota” for the position in Canberra.
In Nepal, appointment of ambassadors is usually done through a “quota system” whereby major political parties divide the number of vacant positions between them. Australia had gone to “Maoist quota” even when KP Oli was the prime minister. The current government under Pushpa Kamal Dahal has repeated the same names including that of Ms Sherpa.
Although the exact reason still remains shrouded in mystery but PM Dahal had abruptly cancelled his visit to Australia last June.
Mr Dahal, who is also know by his wartime moniker Prachanda, was due to arrive in Melbourne on June 23 and then fly to Sydney the next day. He was due to participate in the third general convention of Nepali People’s Progressive Forum, a group believed to be affiliated with his political party, the Maoist Centre.
During his meeting with the Australian ambassador to Nepal (which took place not long after the cancellation of the visit), Mr Dahal had explained that he had to cancel his tour to Australia due to his “work pressure”.
However, many in the Australian Nepali diaspora believed at the time that the immediate reason behind the shock cancellation of his trip could have been triggered by a fear of possible arrest by Australian authorities – much like that of Col Kumar Lama (Nepal Army) who was detained in the UK based on a court case lodged by two victims who claimed that he oversaw their brutal physical torture during the armed conflict between the government forces and the Maoist guerrillas.