Event organisers misuse names and photos of prominent people to promote Nepali shows in foreign countriesAnuradha Koirala and Kul Man Ghising have been featured in promotional posters for an award show in South Korea without their knowledge.
Nepali communities abroad have been organising various events using names of distinguished individuals and celebrities as chief guests without even seeking consent.
One such event has been reported in South Korea where organisers are promoting an award show with Anuradha Koirala, governor of Province 3, as the chief guest and Kul Man Ghising, managing director of Nepal Electricity Authority, as the special guest.
The aides to both Koirala and Ghising confirmed to the Post that they had no idea about the event.
The award ceremony dubbed First International Socialism Award is slated to be held in Seoul on November 10, and its promotional posters bear the names and photos of Koirala and Ghising.
“If they are using my name and picture for promoting the event, then that’s wrong,” Ghising told the Post. “I will be attending a conference of chiefs of power utilities in South Korea in November, but I am not attending any award show while I am there.”
Ghising is no stranger to such fraudulent publicity stunts. He had encountered similar cases while visiting Japan and Australia.
Rajesh Tamang, a personal aide to Koirala, also denied being contacted by the event organisers, Club 40 International, an event organising company based in Kathmandu, and Online Media—an online news portal operated from Seoul, South Korea.
“We have not received an official invitation from the event organisers,” said Rajesh.
Like various other countries with a sizeable Nepali population, South Korea has also been hosting various public events targeting the Nepali diaspora.
A Nepali migrant worker, who wished to be identified only by his surname, Tamang, told the Post over the phone that such events are frequently organised in various cities of South Korea, where more than 60,000 Nepalis live as migrant workers.
“Entertainment shows are popular among Nepalis here. Such shows are organised in different cities of South Korea and the organisers make a good profit,” Tamang said.
He claimed the upcoming awards show, though marketed as an event to recognise the contributions of various individuals and organisations to society, is also being held with the objective of making a profit through ticket sales.
The show organisers are selling two kinds of tickets, one priced at Rs 5,000 and the other at Rs 10,000.
The event has also come under fire from Nepal Tamang Association South Korea for copying its logo.
“The event tickets bear the logo that belongs to the association. We are currently discussing how to deal with the event organisers about the matter,” said a representative of the association. “It is wrong to charge money for the event where chief guests are unsure of attending. This is a fraud.”
Bibhu Neupane, the chairperson of Club 40 International, one of the organisers, admitted that the names and photos of Koirala and Ghising were indeed used for promotion without seeking permission.
“We had proposed Ghising and Koirala as our chief guests, and the main organisers had told us that they would try their best to bring them to the show,” said Neupane. “Ghising sir called us on Sunday and expressed his dissatisfaction over the matter. He said he wouldn’t be able to attend the event. We will see how his name and photo can be removed from event promotion.”
Neupane denied charging money for the event tickets and said most of the attendees would be invited.
“We are only promoting the social contribution of the organisation on the international level. We are not trying to make money out of the event,” said Neupane. “We have completed the nomination part in Nepal, and the rest will be done by another partner organiser—Online Media. Some money may be collected for covering other expenses.”
“No one knows what kind of show this event is and who will be receiving the awards. But organisers are collecting money, which is wrong,” said Tamang. “Even local media operated by Nepali communities are promoting that Ghising and Koirala will be attending the event, which I don’t believe.”
There have been similar incidents in South Korea in the past when organisers have collected money to organise award shows using popular celebrities and official logos of government agencies and other organisations.
Similar cases have been reported from other popular labour destination countries as well. Organisers often take artists for a ride in a bid to make money by even flouting local rules.
Earlier this year, Malaysian authorities had raided a Nepali musical event in Kuala Lumpur and detained 32 people, including the show organisers and the artists, for violating visa regulations, exposing how event organisers ignore laws of the host countries.
Recently, Nepal Embassy in Qatar also issued a press release asking Nepali citizens to refrain from collecting money, donations or organising any such meetings against the local law.