Lucky Sherpa, former ambassador to Australia
What is keeping you busy these days? How have you been making yourself active?
I was given the responsibility of both New Zealand and Australia. After completing my responsibilities, I have been observing latest activities in Nepal for now. I have been investing my time on my committee, my relation with my organization among various development relevant study and researches. We, especially leadership levels, have had many loopholes in formulating laws from the rights in the constitution and new provisions.
Various political parties have completely ignored the provision of proportional representation, given by the constitution. Only a few leaders have taken benefits of the outcome from the issues raised and various protests and revolutions staged in the past. The dream that many dreamt yesterday to transform the country, has only turned into prosperity for a few people. People had not revolted just for a few leaders. My attention will be centered on pressurizing to bring improvement on the same.
The government is currently at 2/3rd majority. However, there people have lamented that the works have not been carried out as per their expectation. What do you have to say about the government’s pace?
Let’s see our economic index, human development index HDI and contemplate how far we are from our ambition. What kind of water we are drinking? Let’s evaluate that way. Not the high-class people, but let’s make evaluation seeing the low-income people. What kind of situation they were in? What have they become today? What is the situation of youth going abroad? Do we feel we are the citizens of this country? How much have we utilized the resources inside the country? How much have we imported from abroad? What volume of foreign investment have we brought in? What kind of projects is the government distributing and what is the priority of the people? Let’s study this. I feel we must determine our planning as per the reality and not the “everything’s okay outside” statements given by a few advisers.
Before embarking on overseas-conferences, ministers and government office bearers must seek consultation from the concerned embassy before embarking. The bush fire is terrorizing the whole country and going there with the tourism promotion program and campaigns do not look good. Does it? One should be mindful of these matters.
You have already worked as an ambassador in Nepal. How have you seen Nepal’s current diplomatic practice?
Any kind of diplomacy must be practiced keeping the country in the center. It should not be inclined towards any individual or force. On the contrary, we got to see many forms of diplomacy. Some had to show extreme patriotic character whereas some maintain their diplomacy to limited countries.
First of all, it is important for us to be clear if we are practicing diplomacy for the interest of our country. All the political parties must come to the common ground when it comes to national interest. Whether it is MCC or BRI, our opinion must be same on them. The same issue has created two opinions in the party. Why couldn’t we bring uniformity in the party? Why is the Minister for Foreign Affairs not been able to give satisfactory answer in case of MCC? The one in authority must not get away with questions.
While staying in Australia as an ambassador, I tried my best to provide guardianship to Nepalese living there. They are still in touch.
How did you find the people’s perspective towards country in course of your stay there?
Developed countries do not give much importance to ambassadors from developing countries. This does not imply to Nepal only, but other developing nations as well. We must make effort to make our presence felt. It depends on ourselves how we want to drag their attention towards our country.
Our country does not have the provision to impart certain trainings to the office bearers going in a foreign diplomatic body. This has to be materialized. The Ministry must present the official working in foreign body not as an employee, but as a diplomat.
What did you do in your tenure as the ambassador for Australia and the New Zealand?
I never put myself as an ambassador from a developing country. I tried to give my best as the ambassador for Australia and New Zealand. Right after my assumption of office, I held a parley with foreign minister there. Other ambassadors used to ask me how did I get to meet him. Not only this, a huge area of land was purchased in the name of embassy in a country like Australia. This is also an achievement.
What should we do to convert the relation with other countries into development diplomacy?
We are neighbor to China and India that have been rising higher in terms of economy. We have not been able to reap benefits from them as we have not yet won their confidence. Our diplomacy must move towards the same. Although geographically small, Nepal is still a nation of importance to both India and China. For this, we need to get them in our favor. Differing opinions arising from the same party about issues like MCC, questions their trust towards us? We should leave no stone unturned on this.
The government has put forth the campaign of happy Nepalese, prosperous Nepal. How should the assistance from neighboring countries be utilized in order to give it significance?
Development is not only building big infrastructures. One body tries to do something; the other body is receiving complaint on the same. Cooperation between the bodies is important on these matters. Development is possible, only when the leadership abandons the self interest and works keeping the people on the center.
In the end, how prepared are you for the role you might be assigned with in the future?
The state and the party assign me with some responsibility given they feel the need to. However, despite staying outside, I am still extending assistance, which I had been doing since past. I never worked for my self-interest. The work I have done during my tenure in Australia has helped the country. If I had tried to make certain person happy, I would not have to apart from my responsibilities. However, I chose not to do it. Because, the country’s interest was always on my priority. Thus, if I am given the responsibility, I am ready to take it.