28 Feb - 6 Mar 2014 #696

Bye bye foreign junkets

Chudamani Bhattarai, Annapurna Post, 27 February

European and other western countries have decided not to host Constituent Assembly members in their countries for trainings on the constitution writing process. The European Union and American Embassy in Kathmandu have agreed on the decision following the previous CA members’ failure to draft a constitution in four years.

Members of the first CA-I travelled to several European countries on fully funded foreign junkets. The CA members were criticised several times for spending most of their time on trips instead of working on the constitution writing process. If the decision is implemented, CA members including high level politicians will not be able to go on official excursions to the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Denmark among others.

However, personal travel will not be affected by the directive. The ambassadors who have agreed on this decision hope that this move from the diplomatic community will remind Nepal’s lawmakers of their one year time frame to complete constitution drafting.

“Although we haven’t written to the Nepal government about this decision, we have already informed concerned authorities,” said an official from European Union.

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