EU ambassadors meeting with Raut
Breach of diplomatic norms
and values: Government
By APD Reporter
Ambassadors from the European countries had to undergo stern criticism in Nepal following their ‘clandestine’ meeting with a controversial Nepali activist CK Raut, some three weeks ago.
Making separate calls on Foreign Minister Mahendra Pandey and Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, the European envoys tried to justify the reason behind their meeting with Raut. The government seems unhappy over the envoys’ clarification about their meeting. Expressing dismay over the clandestine meeting, the government said that it would be compelled to take diplomatic action if the envoys continued such activities in future.
A senior official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, insisting anonymity, said that the EU envoys’ meeting with Raut was against the diplomatic norms, values and practices.
“The ambassadors’ should have thought twice before meeting with a controversial figure. This was indeed a breach of protocol,” he told APD.
During meetings with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, the EU ambassadors tried to clarify that their meeting with Raut was on the ‘human rights ground’.
“It was purely a breach of diplomatic etiquette and decorum and cannot be excusable,” the foreign official said adding, “The EU ambassador’s motive behind the meeting is yet to be clear and we are trying to find out whether the European countries are providing financial support to the secessionist movement spearheaded by Raut.”
Experts on foreign affairs opine that the EU ambassadors’ meeting should not have been with a controversial figure should not have been taken normally.
“Human right is not like a blank cheque. Unfortunately, its selective application by the western countries continues. When it comes to defending themselves, these countries take refuge in the human rights, but when they have to pummel the developing countries they accuse them of violating human rights norms,” Former Chief of Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told APD.
“They have all along been adopting a double standard, one for themselves and the other for the rest. You can’t do everything and anything in the name of human rights. There are clear diplomatic norms to be observed,” he added.
Sources said European Union ambassador to Nepal, Rensje Teerink and Danish Ambassador Kirsten Geelan had held series of talks with Raut and expressed sympathy toward Raut’s movement. “The meetings took place at a Kathmandu-based European diplomatic mission and Chitwan,” a diplomatic source said adding, “Had the media not reported about the meeting, the EU envoys would not have clarified about their wrongdoing.”
The Nepal government has warned that their meeting with Raut was against the spirit of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities.
This is not the first time the EU envoys are dragged into controversy. Last year in December, United Kingdom Ambassador Andrew Sparkes courted controversy by questioning Nepal’s commitment to secularism. Writing an open letter to the Nepal’s Constituent Assembly members, Sparkes urged them “to ensure that the right to change religion be protected” in the new constitution of Nepal.
As Nepal’s major parties failed to deliver the new statute following sharp differences on issues such as federal system, forms of governance, electoral system and form of judiciary, EU envoys, Ambassadors from the western countries mainly United States of America, United Nations have been pressing the ruling parties to promulgate new statute through consensus.
Who is CK Raut?
Raut is launching the anti-nationalist movement in the Madhesh region of Nepal to secede Madhesh as a separate country since 2011.
According to his personal website ckraut.com, Raut got a PHD degree from the United States and worked as a scientist at BBN Massachusetts. He has been launching the separatist movement, especially in southern Nepal after returning his home country four years ago.
Raut, the coordinator of the Alliance for Independent Madhes (AIM), has been arrested by the police several times for anti- nationalist movement and was recently released on Dec. 29, 2014.
HOT 亚太日报 | 塔利班占阿富汗半壁江山，阿政府向美国要武器成泡影