India Welcomes Nepal: Koirala Greatest South Asian Leader

Prime Minister Koirala at Kathmandu International Airport

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala with foreign diplomats at Tribhuwan International Airport before leaving for New Delhi on Tuesday. Pic, first published in eKantipur, by Bikas Rauniar

After American President George W. Bush, it was today the turn of Nepal’s Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala to be received by the Indian Prime Minister at the New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport in the recent memory [Bill Clinton was received in 2000 by Foreign Minister Jashwant Singh]. “You are the greatest leader in South Asia,” said Man Mohan Singh, the Indian leader, while shaking hands of his Nepali counterpart. “We respect you and we are proud of you.”

Koirala is officially visiting India as a Prime Minister of a government formed by the historical Peoples’ Movement that forced an autocratic king to give up the power and restore the House of Representative that was dissolved four years in mysterious circumstances. Koirala was demanding the restoration of the House from the very beginning and the 84-year-old president of Nepali Congress party was the leader of the Seven Party Alliance that organized the April Revolution with the direct help of the Maoist party. Koirala, as the head of the (new) Nepal government, genuinely deserved that respect from India, our closest neighbor. This response of Prime Minister Singh has been interpreted as Indian peoples’ salute to the Nepal’s historical peoples’ movement and its achievement.

But those were the words from India; we are yet to see those beautiful words turned into action. India can turn those words into actions by providing assistance and offering help to us without adding strings and hidden fees. Koirala is in New Delhi with a mission: to get as much help and assistance from India as possible. Nepal is in need of all kinds of help- from budgetary to bilateral- from India but not at any cost. We feel that India has done enough harm and taken things away from us already. This is the time India pays back. So far the signals have been encouraging. Results will be seen pretty much soon. Koirala will be holding formal talks with Man Mohan Singh Wednesday.

Based on reporting by Kantipur senior reporter Balaram Baniya and special correspondent Surendra Phuyal in New Delhi

Nepal to seek Rs 75b for five years
PM’s India Visit

By Prem Khanal in the Kathmandu Post. (here is the original article)

KATHMANDU, June 5 – Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, who is beginning a four-day official visit to India from Tuesday, will request the Indian government for development aid worth Rs 75 billion for the next five years.

The government’s ‘wish list’, which was presented in the cabinet today by Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat, mainly aims to seek Indian assistance in infrastructure development, said a government source. The proposed aid volume is far higher than what India has been extending to Nepal annually. Currently, India provides about two billion rupees worth of development aid.

Apart from budgetary support, the government will seek Indian assistance in hydropower, roads and aviation sectors, said officials and added that the ‘wish list’ has received positive signals from India.

During bilateral negotiations, the government is proposing special Indian assistance for the development of at least one big hydropower project to tackle the worsening power crisis in the country.

Sources said the government is planning to propose three mega projects – 600 MW Budigandaki, 400 MW Arun III and 300 MW Upper Karnali for Indian assistance.

However, Indian officials have shown interest in developing the 300-MW Upper Karnali, which is estimated to cost US$ 500 million, said the source.

The government is also proposing financial support of four billion rupees for construction and maintenance of 600 kilometers of road particularly in the hilly region, and construction of 23 bridges along the East -West highway. The construction of bridges alone is estimated to cost over one billion rupees. The request for road construction would be in addition to the 1500 km road construction in the Terai region, to which India is already committed.

The visiting delegation will also request the Indian government to extend budgetary support of one billion rupees to address the liquidity problem likely to arise in the next

fiscal year starting from mid-July.

Likewise, the government will also request deferment of payment of huge outstanding dues by state-owned Nepal Oil Corporation to Indian Oil Corporation. The accumulated dues have crossed five billion rupees and the government wishes to convert the dues into a long-term loan, said the official.

The government will also propose a waiver of Rs 1.6 billion worth of arms and ammunition dues. India had supplied arms, ammunition and military equipment worth over seven billion rupees between 2003 and 2005.

The government will also request the Indian government for support in establishing a polytechnic institute in the far western region. With regard to other infrastructure development, Nepal will ask for a detailed survey of East-West railway, while India has shown interest in constructing at least one airport in the hilly districts.

Likewise, the government will request the Indian government to scrap the four-percent additional duty slapped on imports from Nepal.

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61 thoughts on “India Welcomes Nepal: Koirala Greatest South Asian Leader”

  1. I am a monarchist. Let’s see how SPA or Maoist will survive without king’s blessing. After all, those bickering SPA’s & murderous Maoist are no less corrupted than the king.

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  2. May the freinsdhip between India and Nepal flourish everyday! God bless Nepal and India, the greatest neighbor one can have. Long live Dr. Manmohan Singh! He is the greatest statesman.

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  3. Nepalese people should make the new faces like Gagan Thapa the prime minister of Nepal. He is probably the “fierce one” and the greatest leader of the people’s movement of Nepal.

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  4. I don’t know about Gagan Thapa. Maybe he can be a good leader, but on the other hand have’nt we had enough of the fiery types who when in power sizzle and fizzle down and end up being nothing but more of the same. Deuba was a fiery youth leader once, so was Girija and Prachanda, there are too many to name, but not one has the satesmanship that comes from people respecting you out of their own free will, not out of fear or chicanary.
    I have always been suspicious of fiery and popular seeking type of people. Maybe our real brilliant leaders are not heard as loud and as rash but are there and can lead the country into prosperity. Not unlike Manmohan Singh or Li Kyan Yu.

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  5. Girija is a just a sicko. He is the product of a sick society which he himself crafted over the decade after 1990. A sicko with a sick mentality creating a sick society, who else would be at the head of such a nation, but himself. A sick head of state for a sick nation created by his sick mentality.

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  6. Let us clean our back yard FIRST and then help others!!

    I am not saying that helping Nepal is a wrong thing.It is the way how RELATIONS are built up. But, at the same time they should not be beyond our potential. Help them in terms of technological assistance(by sending some Indian youth to work in Nepal) by sending skilled persons who can train large members of Nepali youth,by sending a bunch of army commandos to train their army,by letting indian industries get into Nepal and bring industrialisation in Nepal,by helping it to repay its debts to INDIA or any other country. I think this would certainly help both Nepalis and Indians in all ways.

    Dont forget that even we INDIANS seeked help from world bank and we even have been given the WAIVER (so many times).

    Can anybody make me clear the statement given by Koirala,
    India has taken so much from us and its time for her to give back…smth like that

    Finally I have one small thing to say,
    Treat Nepal as our friends SON not our OWN!!!

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  7. naga-a naga who calls himself an Indian? I guess you are not a Naga from Nagaland but more of the snake type. Even if you are a Naga you must be an Ao or an Angami-again pretty snake like.

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  8. Folks, This man 89 year old named Girija P Koirala, is still greedy for chair and Satta. if we analysis his past tenure as PM were completed failed. With the help of foreign missinaries, corrupt media houses and so called human rights groups, this man again able to grap satta and palyed again blood politics. Maoist terrorist is now became major player in Nepal. This man put Gangajal to Maoist. Girija and enept Madhav Kumar Nepal are misleading to all nepalis. we shold get up and stand up againt these two trator.

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  9. Everyone is so critical of Girija. Why so? It is unmerited. Why not too many others critical of Prachanda, the fiery one. My biggest worry for Nepal is about that tyrrant coming to power. He is a failed leader and always will be. The number of people he let killed makes him par with Idi Amin, Molsevic, Saddam Hussain, Abu Zarqawi, Bin Laden. It was disappointing for Kantipur TV to give him air time or any time for interview. He did not deserve that kind of legitimacy. He is an illegitimate and always will be until he apologizes to the people of Nepal. Girija is a saint compared to him.

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  10. newark,

    I agree that Prachanda should not get the time of day from law abiding and peace loving citizens. As for Girija, why shoulkd we compare him with the likes of Prachanda Comparing an elected PM to criminals is not the order of the day. However, Gririja has been bad for rhis nation, and should not have been given the electoral mandate to run our country.

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