9 JANUARY 2020 I The Embassy of Nepal in Canberra says a flurry of “negative” news reports around the inaugural programme of Visit Nepal Year 2020 have “drawn its attention”.
Nepal’s tourism minister Yogesh Bhattarai, who is in Australia to launch the year-long tourism promotion, had attended the programme last Tuesday. The event was jointly organised by the Nepalese mission in Canberra, Consulate General of Nepal in NSW and the NRNA Australia.
Issuing a press statement on Wednesday, the Embassy claimed that “no security agencies of Australia created any obstruction during the programme” and expressed “regret” that some media outlets misrepresented facts.
The Nepalese mission rubbished reports that the tourism minister was stopped by police.
The minister and other participants of the programme were stopped “only until security guards (of Sydney Opera House) contacted their management committee” – when the group was walking towards the Opera House following the completion of the formal programme, the Nepalese language press statement mentions.
Several earlier reports by vernacular websites in Nepal, sourced from southasia.com.au, do appear to suggest it was “police” that stopped the minister which was not the case. The report on southasia.com.au ilable here, does not specify so. The only mention of “police” the website made was in relation to organiser’s application for authority to hold a rally, which was declined by the relevant unit of the NSW Police.