Election fever grips NRNsThe signs of election fever gripping non-resident Nepalis (NRNs) have become palpable, as Bhaban Bhatta has announced his candidacy for the post of president of the International Coordination Council (ICC) of the NRN Association (NRNA), the apex umbrella body of NRNs.
The signs of election fever gripping non-resident Nepalis (NRNs) have become palpable, as Bhaban Bhatta has announced his candidacy for the post of president of the International Coordination Council (ICC) of the NRN Association (NRNA), the apex umbrella body of NRNs.
Around 1,500 to 2,000 NRNs are gathering in Kathmandu for the 8th NRN Global Conference and NRNA International General Assembly from October 14-17. During this four-day event, NRNs will choose the new head of the NRNA-ICC, as incumbent president, Shesh Ghale, is stepping down after completing his second two-year term.
The four-day event will also see election to different posts of the NRNA-ICC’s executive committee. It will also elect regional coordinators and co-coordinators for six regions, Asia-Pacific, Europe, America, Oceania, Africa and the Middle-East.
The NRNA-ICC had last held its election in 2015.
Announcing his candidacy, Bhatta, who made a fortune from hospitality business in Japan, said he would give continuity to works initiated by the NRNA if he is elected the president. These works include completion of model settlement at Laprak in Gorkha, which was devastated by the 2015 earthquakes, construction of NRNA’s own complex in Kathmandu, formulation of Vision 2020 and Beyond document, prevention of brain-drain while encouraging those abroad to return to Nepal, and expansion of foreign employment destinations.
“I’ll also introduce insurance products for Nepalis working abroad, empower Women’s Forum at the NRNA, create a start-up fund, transform NRNA into a smart body, enable every NRNA National Coordination Council to implement a unique project, and promote social entrepreneurship,” said Bhatta, who is currently the vice president of the NRNA-ICC.
Although no one has formally announced candidacy for the post of president of the NRNA-ICC till date, another vice president of the organisation, Kumar Panta, who owns hotel and other businesses in Germany, is rumoured to enter into the NRNA presidential race.
The Post, however, could not verify this information independently.
The NRNs have been working in an organised way in Nepal and other countries since October 2003 following establishment of the NRNA. Since then, the NRNA has expanded its networks to 77 countries around the globe. Over 100,000 Nepalis, except those residing in South Asia, are associated with the NRNA. It is reported that five million Nepalis are living in 110 countries throughout the world.
Despite expanding global reach, NRNs, however, are charged of visiting the country every two years to attend global conference and general assembly—which are held during the Dashain, the biggest festival of Hindus in the country—and making big promises, but delivering little. The same goes for incumbent president Ghale, who is one of the richest men in Australia. Ghale is charged of delivering a rousing speech after he was elected NRNA president for the second time in 2015, but not making serious efforts to implement his ideas.
“It is not that we only make empty promises. We do try to make a difference, yet it is not that easy because the NRNA does not have its own income generating source and has to rely on contributions from members. Yet we have been devising ways to use available resources in a smart way to create lasting impact,” Bhatta said, adding, “The cleaning campaign held recently at Tribhuvan International Airport is an example of how efficiently we work. This shows the country can reap maximum benefit from our network.”