A Nepali-American Delegation in Washington DC
Washington DC, USA – March 23, 2015: Nepali-Americans visited Capitol Hill, The State Department and The White House on March 19-23 to meet with members of US Congress and Executive Branch staff. The purpose of the visit was to request Congressmen to join the Nepal Caucus; urge consideration of a Congressional delegation to visit Nepal to get better acquainted with the situation there; get a better understanding of US policy on Nepal and seek an avenue for the Nepali diaspora in the US to engage in the formulation and practice of this policy. In addition, all were apprised of the Movement for Change (m4c), an incipient new citizen-fueled initiative in Nepal.
In meetings with Congressmen and their staff, State Department and the White House officials and discussions on the situation in Nepal, all agreed the need for a quick promulgation of the long-delayed constitution to restore Nepal on a firm path to peace, prosperity and development. A number of Congressmen agreed to join the Caucus and others are actively considering it. Congressmen were open to the concept of a trip to Nepal, subject to the constraints imposed on them. Executive Branch officials welcomed the initiative and were keenly interested in the input provided a rare occurrence from Nepali-Americans. All encouraged continuing engagement and participation and promised to be receptive to the aspirations of the delegation.
Darshan Rauniyar, a former candidate for the US House of Representatives now active in promoting democracy in Nepal, who organized and led the delegation, said “Given the current impasse in Nepal, the mere expression of enhanced US interest in the situation could play a role in bringing the parties together, to join hands and avoid moving the goalposts, to resolve the issues plaguing the constitutional making process. He continued, from the unique perspective of m4c, “I call on all well-wishers of Nepal to pressure the political parties in Nepal to discharge the work of the people they were elected to do, on a timely basis or face the consequences for their actions. Continued delay in promulgating a constitution, will only invite increasing chaos, instability and hardship. It is time for a change, maybe even time for new leadership and focus for the country.”
The delegation consisted of Darshan Rauniyar (Seattle), founder of m4c, and advisors Sharda Thapa (Chicago), Saurav Jung Thapa (Washington DC), Khagendra GC (New Jersey), Anjan Shrestha (Texas), Gopendra Bhattrai (Indiana) and Sanjeev Mishra (Nepal). It met with Congresswoman Suzan Delbene, Congressman Rick Larsen, Congressman Denny Heck, Congressman Jared Polis and Congressman Fred Upton. In addition, they also met with staffers for Congressmen Adam Smith, Jim McDermott, Ander Crenshaw, Derek Kilmer and Jeff Miller.