Upadhyay, Paudyal appointed envoys to India and ChinaPresident Bidhya Devi Bhandari on Saturday appointed Deep Kumar Upadhyay and Leela Mani Paudyal as Nepal’s ambassadors to India and China respectively.
President Bidhya Devi Bhandari on Saturday appointed Deep Kumar Upadhyay and Leela Mani Paudyal as Nepal’s ambassadors to India and China respectively.
Upadhyay has been reappointed as Nepal’s ambassador to India. The erstwhile KP Sharma Oli government on May 7 had recalled Upadhyay from New Delhi for his “non-cooperation to the government”.
He was asked to return two days ahead of President Bidhya Devi Bhandari’s scheduled visit to India. However, President Bhandari’s visit to the southern neighbour was also cancelled “for the lack of preparation”.
After the formation of the CPN (Maoist Centre)-Nepali Congress government under Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal in August, Upadhyay was again recommended as the ambassador to India.
Paudyal, the newly appointed ambassador to China, is a former chief secretary of the government of Nepal. He had earlier served as the consular general in Lhasa, China.
A statement issued by the Office of the President on Saturday made the announcement regarding the appointment of Upadhyay and Paudyal as ambassadors to India and China respectively as Article 282 (1) of the constitution.
The rank and status given to Upadhyay and Paudyal, however, is different. According to the statement, the status of Upadhyay has been upgraded to a minister while Paudyal has been given the status of ambassador. Upadhyay is a former minister.
Giving ambassadors the rank of a minister is “old school of diplomacy,” said officials who have followed diplomacy for years, adding that almost all the countries have stopped giving ministerial rank to ambassadors. The United States only gives ministerial rank to its ambassadors and permanent representative to the United Nations, they said.
“The government has set a wrong precedent by reviving such an old tradition. Firstly, it is a discriminatory provision and secondly, such practice will have an impact on ambassadorial appointment in future,” said an official.
But nonetheless, for the host country, this issue is hardly a matter of concern, sources said. “For the host country, an ambassador is just an ambassador no matter what rank and status has been given to him or her by their government,” said the sources. There are, however, some differences.
The ambassadors get different remuneration and perks depending upon their status and rank. An ambassador with the ministerial level rank gets to fly in business class, at times enjoys the privilege of reporting directly to the PM and is accorded ministerial treatment when s/he returns home after completing the term.
Some government officials, however, have defended the decision of giving different rank and status to the envoys. Upadhyay was recalled unceremoniously by the Oli government, said an official. “Since this is his reappointment, the government has compensated for the untimely recall by upgrading his status.”