Sydney City security officers stop “Visit Nepal” rally led by minister Yogesh Bhattarai


7 JANUARY 2020 I Security personnel in Sydney City have stopped a rally organised to “launch” Visit Nepal Year 2020, the scenic nation’s ambitious year-long tourism promotion exercise.

The organisers had no permission from authorities to march a rally, southasia.com.au understands.

The rally was being led by Nepalese tourism minister Yogesh Bhattarai, Nepalese ambassador to Australia Mahesh Raj Dahal, Consul General of Nepal in NSW Deepak Khadka and Consul General of Nepal in Victoria Chandra Yonzon.

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Minister Bhattarai with Counsellor Durapada Sapkota and the Consul General of Nepal in NSW Deepak Khadka I Photo: Supplied

Events Planning Unit of the NSW Police had explicitly asked the organisers not to conduct the “procession for a number of reasons” including the fact that the event was “promotional and for commercial gain” which was “not in keeping with the legislation regarding a right to protest”.

Police had also considered the size of the contingent of participants in disapproving today’s rally. Authorities feared the entire footpath would be taken up by the marching participants, “blocking access for pedestrians”.

Dila Kharel, Sydney-based accountant and former treasurer of Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) Australia, was tasked by organisers to secure permission from the police and other relevant authorities.

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Nepal’s tourism minister Yogesh Bhattarai at the Sydney event I Photo: Prakash Humagain

He claims he informed the organisers about the disapproval and they had no plans to conduct the rally as such.

But someone in the rally appears to have decided to lead on a full-blown march causing embarrassment for the visiting minister.

Leumeah-resident and freelance journalist Prakash Humagain lamented the sheer mismanagement of the event attended by a visiting dignitary like the tourism minister of the Government of Nepal.

“Participants were disappointed when they saw the parade being stopped by the security personnel. They blamed the organisers for the mismanagement,” Mr Humagain said.

However, counsellor at the Embassy of Nepal in Canberra has strongly denied that security officers stopped the procession led by the minister.

“First of all, it was not a rally,” Durapada Sapkota told southasia.com.au. “We formally concluded the program and decided to walk peacefully towards the Sydney Opera House,” Mrs Sapkota clarified. 

She said security officers only inquired about the size of the crowd “as a normal process of house-keeping” and “And we all went in walked around.”
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Minister Yogesh Bhattarai poses with members of the local Nepalese community in front of the Sydney Opera House I Photo: Embassy of Nepal

There have been some protest from the community about the timing of the VNY promotional activities at a time when Australia is reeling under the worst bushfire emergency in history.

President of Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) Australia, Keshav Kandel had earlier told southasia.com.au that the organisers had to go on with today’s programme because it was already pre-determined and that there was no knowing when or if the minister would get another opportunity to visit down under for the launch.

“The Sydney programme on 7 January to promote Visit Nepal Year 2020 was pre-determined and as such it must go on because the minister is already here. However, it will be done in a manner to suit these sombre times,” Mr Kandel remarked.

Editor – This news article was updated 7 January 2020 at 1754 Hrs

37 thoughts on “Sydney City security officers stop “Visit Nepal” rally led by minister Yogesh Bhattarai

  1. Very good decision from Security officers. Australia is burning and they trying to cheer up on road for Visit Nepal ?
    #ShameonYou
    #GobackNepal

  2. Even the minister doesn’t have idea this is not the right time to be parading for yourself. Help if you can, if not try maintaining integrity.

  3. Shame on Foreign Policy of Nepal.If neighbours are in pain we need to cure not playing with the sentiment . See Australia is facing a massive fire problem and Nepali are begging on the street .Is this the right way to promote visit Nepal-2020

  4. This is absolutely not right way and right time for such rally, specially when Australia is having such a rough and tough time, that too for commercial purpose. I support what security has done.

  5. Veda Janata ko Veda Leader estai ho. One of the reason Nepal is Nepal and Australia is Australia. Jail halera deport gardinu parne ho.

    1. The problem with Nepalis is everywhere they go they take their Nepaliness; arrogance, carelessness, ignorance, unpreparedness, etc. with them! What they academically or economically achieve remains insignificant or keeps a very little meaning!

    2. Veda janta?? Nepal Lai gali?? 2 barsa bhada handa yesto garna sakine raicha.. (minister le ramro gareko hoina ,Tara desh Lai Ra janta Lai gali pachauna garo bhayo)

  6. How the Nepalese Ambassador, Consuls got the post and working in Australia who do not have the knowledge of the country ? Shame on you…

  7. Don’t play with the sentiments..Atleast you should have thought twice while doing such promotional rally when Australia is going through hard times..

  8. I don’t think there is any problems in doing rally peacefully. Same time many Nepalese are helping fire fighters individually and through some organisations.

    1. Nirmani Lal Shrestha

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      No problem doing rally peacefully or anything is not true.
      You need a proper channel and permission doing anything. Especially authorizes, person who is in position of minister have more responsibilities and must follow the rule and regulation of that place where something has to be done.

  9. थुक्क मात्र भन्न मन लग्यो। देशमा बिदेसिले दिन लाया भिक् को बिरोध गर्ने, विदेश गएर देशकै बेजत गर्ने, ये कम्निस्ट भेडा हो, कतिन्जेल सहनु पर्ने हो तिमर्को कुबुद्दि? थुइक्क गु खाने हो। येस्ता लाइ अस्ट्रेलिया सरकार ले आजिबन प्रतिबन्ध लगाए हुने नि

  10. Such a Shame. I wish Australian government gives a life long ban to the minister to promote Nepal in the time of Grief in Australia. He should also know that Australia is not Nepal. You need permission to lead your ships on the street. A nice slap on his face. Dont Visit Nepal led by such ships.

  11. Nonsense! When whole Australia is burning, you are advertising for spending holiday in Nepal! What a timing minister! Buddy, you are a genius!

  12. Nepal government as well as Australian organizer should have considered about the current situation of Australia. It could be done in the way of supporting and extending helping hands along with silent and effective promotional safety gears with emblem of Visit Nepal 2020. It was the time to speak by sign language.

  13. It’s quite simple, if you get monkeys to dance for peanuts, what would you get on the floor. Peanut shells!! What I have observed in interim is people are quite selfish and non respectful for place they call Australia home! Respect for those who are grieving!! Who ever had organised this visit 2020 program should be hung upside down, this is total embarrassment to all Naplesse community.. this is not election but devastation to all Australians!!!

  14. I have had number of personal contacts (mainstream Ausi friends) ring me today to let me know how insensitive they felt to witness the Visit Nepal 2020 fanfare, in heart of Sydney in the midst of the ongoing National Crisis of this land, where there is deep national grief, mourning, and ongoing life-death battle is continuing and to witness a carry on like the way it was done today, highlights some serious gaps in the capability, maturity and misguided judgments of the folks running the show. It was unfortunate timing and tasteless. It also critically unlikely to get much traction with the locals and at the worst disrepute the good name of Nepal. Disappointing indeed.

    1. Not a good time for the event, exactly when the whole nation is grieving with crisis. How would Nepalese feel when someone had come with such promotions while we were grieving with Earthquakes? Shame!

    2. Geeta Bhatrai Bastakoti

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      Even the event was scheduled it was an insane and irrationale decision when Australia faced such disaster and crisis situation. Just simple imagine sitiation where in earthquake of Nepal such kind of event is organized, how would one individu nepalese feel.

  15. rukmangad poudyal

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    southasia.com.au

    rights to pedestrians: कुनै पनि प्रकारको उद्देश्यले जस्तो कुनै दलगत समूह वा ब्यापारी समुह वा विरोधी समूह आदिले गर्ने marching or promotional program ले पैदलयात्रीको हक हनन गरिनु हुदैन भन्ने मनसायबाट आएको उपर्युक्त अधिकारीको विचारले मेरो मन जित्न सकेको छ, सो विचारलाई स्यालुट गर्न चाहान्छु ।

    1. Right to do anything doesn’t mean you can disturb someone who is meditating in the temple, or mosque or somewhere. My example may not be fully analogous, however, Australia is in very painful situation as we all know that, so how can someone do marketing about their tourism in the foreign land? That is also without permission. That is very inappropriate. This will actually diminishes the number of tourist, especially from Australia, the tourists for Nepal will probably be lowered. Mind my words. This will most likely be true!!!

  16. Not a good time for the event, exactly when the whole nation is grieving with crisis. How would Nepalese feel when someone had come with such promotions while we were grieving with Earthquakes? Shame!

  17. I think, it’s just mismanagement of the event. Let’s not only blame Nepalese leader or government. I do live outside Nepal but having said that. We all came from same place. Where we all grown up in same environment. When you move abroad. You learn new things and become more modernise as you go along.
    I know Australia is in bad situation right now. I have even made little bit donation myself through @cerestebarber Facebook page. Rather than making negative comments about our Leader. Let’s direct them into right path. At the end yo man ta hamro Nepali ho hai Hajur ho.

  18. Yeah, they aren’t allowed to do whatever they want like in Nepal. It is not Nepal. Also Australia is in grief, you guys should express your sorrow instead, not cheering and advertising about your Visit Nepal. Good job officers. Hats off. Organizer should be jailed also, for not having permission to do so and in such a terrible situation (bush fires).

  19. Dear Nepal Government, instead of begging to “visit Nepal” start to make roads in proper way, make Nepal clean and dust free. Then tourists will eager to visit Nepal, no need to beg…

  20. Visit Nepal year 2020 Inauguration Kicked Off in Australia

    Visit Nepal Year 2020 was inaugurated on 7 Jan 2020 at Circular Quay, the premium national and international tourist attraction site of Sydney. Among the hot topics in the social media yesterday, was the timing of the inauguration program while the Australian Fire Disaster is still fresh. Point to be noted here is that the program date and venue was fixed long before the disaster occurred. Visit Nepal 2020 is the signature program of Government of Nepal to attract more visitors in Nepal and promote tourism. The Embassy of Nepal, Consulate Offices, Non Resident Nepali Association (NRNA), the peak diaspora organisation of Nepal and the wider Nepalese community are playing active role to assist the cause of VNY 2020 and promoting the theme globally. Inauguration program was kicked off yesterday in major cities of many countries around the world. Minister of Tourism responded to the invitation of Embassy of Nepal to attend this program in Sydney. NRNA, Consulate offices, media were all part of it, in the making of this program alongside other stakeholders of the community.

    The date (7 Jan) came nearby. The bushfire disaster also intensified. There were several discussions around whether this program should be called off or postponed. Different opinions were put forward, however, the concluding view was to go ahead with the VNY inauguration program, however, maintain the sensitivity of the timing (the fire effect), be mindful of not soliciting anyone, not to distribute flyers and not provoke or inflict any offending behaviours, invite or involved in raising funds for the bushfire cause involving recognised charities etc. Some of the programs that were planned ahead such as cultural parade, music etc were cancelled. Upon concluding the planned launch and many of the audiences going home, some of the volunteers in the crowd led the crowd and the minister for walking towards Opera House from Circular Quay, which is about 150 meters walk off street. Because of the number of people in one group, two security guards of opera house precinct stopped the crowd and asked to wait while they called the management. Their rationale was, the size of crowd and some people wearing visit Nepal t-shirts, which is, in effect inviting for business, required them to talk to their management in two-way radio. Eventually, many including the minister went towards the Opera house, some went home. It was normal, natural dialogue, it happens everywhere in everyday circumstances, security people asking relevant questions. Even the priminister of this country is not exempt of such treatment. We, as participants, are witness of the whole thing. Program went well, people were considerate of the situation. It was mentioned everywhere of the recent disaster and Nepalese community’s contribution and willingness to be part of the relief. Many high profile dignitaries and representatives of the Australian community participated in the program. The evening program at the Parliament was very good. Some incredible success stories doing tourism business with Nepal and sending people there with a bigger purpose was very touchy feely.

    On this note, we must thank the Embassy of Nepal, Consul Generals Offices, NRNA, the wider Nepalese community, Media and Business Community and the Dignitaries and the distinguished guests that attended, participated and contributed to the Visit Nepal 2020 events. There is no right or wrong on this, having regard and respect to our institutions, community is something, we all, always do. Now the VNY 2020 has kicked off, let’s do what we can do in our part to help more than 100,000 people from Australia to visit Nepal in 2020, for recreation, Himalayan expedition, adventure, natural healing and much more. Let’s all unite as a wider community to do, as much as we can, to participate in relief and volunteering in the bush fire ordeal. God bless us all.

  21. At this moment do something for Australia, not for Nepal. Yes, 2020 visit Nepal is a big national/international program- great! But not great being done in Australia at this time of national tragedy.
    A height of arrogance! A height of greed! The program could be postponed, you have a whole year.
    No explanation of defence will justify the silliness of the group.
    Ah, vaihalchha, vaun vaan garaula ni, navaye alikatta ghus pes garounla attitude has ruined the self esteem of the whole community.
    Sorry about the perspective but could not hold on to it.

    1. Dear Chitra,
      We strive to publish all comments except those that we feel are offensive (in all kinds of ways including language). It should have been a matter of time zone difference between where you reside and AEST. Thank you.
      Regards,
      Editor

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