(TibetanReview.net, May15’19) – The participation by two Nepali MPs at the 7th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet, which was held in Latvia’s capital Riga from May 7-10 and organized by the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile in association with Latvian Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet and International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet, has been described as controversial by a section of the country’s media. The participation by Pradip Yadav of the Samajbadi Party Nepal and Iqabal Miya of the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal in that convention brought under serious scrutiny the country’s official One-China policy, said kathmandupost.ekantipur.com May 13.
The report acknowledged that the two MPs took part in the convention while on a personal trip but suggested that it was still controversial. The report pointed out that those who took part in the convention included President Lobsang Sangay of the Central Tibetan Administration and the Speaker Pema Jungney and Deputy Speaker Ven. Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.
Miya has acknowledged that he visited Latvia specifically to attend the conference in support of the Tibetan parliamentarians and the Tibetan people. “Others were also there, including friends from India. We did not have any idea about the conference so we did not speak anything.”
The report said both Miya and Yadav had not taken consent from the Parliament Secretariat to attend the function, although it was not clear whether they should have.
“The two leaders said they were visiting Latvia for personal reasons and they did not disclose the details and purpose of their visit,” the report quoted an unnamed joint-secretary at the Parliament Secretariat as saying.
The report cited the country’s foreign affairs experts as saying the participation of parliamentarians, including one from a party which is part of the incumbent government, showcased flaws in state functioning and the weak conduct of Nepal’s foreign policy.
The report also cited the country’s former foreign minister Ramesh Nath Pandey as saying the trip was diplomatically an embarrassment for the country. “It shows our system does not prevail and if we don’t become serious on foreign policy issues, it will damage the country’s reputation.”