Acharya becomes first envoy to take oath from President

- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu

Feb 4, 2019-

Nilamber Acharya, Nepal’s new ambassador to India, became the first ambassador to take oath of office and secrecy from President Bidya Devi Bhandari under a new provision that was announced on Sunday itself.  

Even during the Panchayat era and after the restoration of democracy in 1990, all Nepali ambassadors, before taking up their diplomatic assignment, used to take oath from Chief Justice. Earlier, it was proposed that Prime Minister will administrate the oath of office and secrecy to the newly appointed ambassadors, but the provision was amended  so that President will administer the oath.

After stripping the royal palace’s power in 2006, the then de-facto head of state and Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala used to receive foreign ambassadors at Singha Durbar, but did not administrate the oath to the new Nepali ambassadors ahead of taking diplomatic assignments. After the first elections to the Constituent Assembly in 2008, Nepal formally adopted the system of republic, but the provision of oath taking by the President was not envisioned.

 President Bhandari on Sunday announced the appointment of new envoy to India, a position that had remained vacant since October last year following the resignation by Deep Kumar Upadhyay ahead of the parliamentary elections.

Acharya has previously served as the ambassador to Sri Lanka from 1996 to 2000. He is also a former minister and parliamentarian. A Moscow University graduate, Acharya was initially left-leaning but the Nepali Congress had nominated him to the Constituent Assembly in 2008.

Foreign policy experts say that  Acharya faces steep challenges as he takes up his diplomatic assignment next month as the first envoy to New Delhi since the 2015 blockade.

His appointment comes at a crucial time for Nepal-India relations, which in the last two decades have seen a series of ups and downs, with the ties hitting a historic low in the aftermath of the promulgation of the constitution in Nepal in September 2015, following which New Delhi had imposed an undeclared blockade that lasted five months.

Published: 04-02-2019 10:32

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