Former Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal’s speech in the ICAPP Special Conference on “Russia for Asia a New Business Opportunity” in Vladivostok, 21-23 May, 2015


Jhalanath-Khanal

Hon. Founding Chairman Mr. Jose De Venesia,

Hon. Co-chairman and Secretary General Chung Eui-yong,

Hon Sok An, Vice Chairman and Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia,

Hon. Cheng Fengxiang, Vice Chairman of the International Department of Communist  Party of China;

Hon Andrey A Klinov, Member of Presidium of the General Council of the United Russia Party;

Hon Vasiliy Usoltsev, the First Vice Governor of the Primorskie Region;

Hon. Members of Standing Committee of the ICAPP,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all I would like to express the message of peace, solidarity and harmony to all of you on behalf of our party for the success of the ICAPP Special Conference in Vladivostok. I would like to extend my thanks to the ICAPP Secretariat for providing me an opportunity to express my views in inaugural session of this special conference representing the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist and Leninist.  My special thanks to the United Russia Party for hosting this excellent conference in this beautiful city Vladivostok with the co-sponsorship of Eurasian Dialogue of the Russian Parliamentary European Club and the Business Forum of the Government of the Primorskiy Region of the Russian Federation.

The peace, development, progress and harmony through regional cooperation have long been the desire of Nepali people. Our people have got an aspiration of prosperity and development from the achievement of our neighbors and friends. But in a mean time, Nepal has severely affected by the shocks of earthquakes completely affecting lives of people.  The earthquake of 7.8 Richter magnitude scale on 25 April coupled with 7.3 magnitudes on May 12 amid multiple aftershocks has pushed our country deep into national crisis. The aspiration of people falls apart with disappointment and shattered by the tragedy of commons. The first quake epicentered at Barpak, Gorkha had already made a big loss of lives. These earthquakes have destroyed 4, 94,437 (four hundred ninety four thousand and four hundred thirty seven) public houses with partial damage of 2,65,736 (two hundred sixty five hundred and seven  hundred thirty six) houses.

There are rare houses stand still in the areas and a rare people who do not suffer from the tragedy of the earthquake. The death toll reached over eight thousand six hundred sixteen (8,616) with more than double injury. Without any doubt this number is still to rise as the 12 May earthquake has also taken the lives of 148 people with many unidentified corpses and missing. Even more than 70 foreign people lost their lives during these quakes. Our tourism base is worst affected especially as many parts of cultural heritages crumbled to ruin.

Almost 40 thousand public schools cracked down and children were left in fear and psychological trauma.  Of the total 269 health centers are completely destroyed and open hospitals are created for the treatment of injured people. Many cattle died and hygiene insecurity posed fear anytime outburst of the epidemic as a consequences.  Many residents lucky enough at noon time got a narrow escape of the earthquake. Sporadic and dry landslides are everywhere in the mountains and fault ruptures are exposed in the lands and roads. According to the geologists the height of Mt Everest reduced by an inch and there is swelling up of the Kathmandu Valley near to a meter. Moreover, there is never end, of multiple shocks and people are terrifying for the next devastating earthquake with an active seismic undercurrent.

 

Ladies and gentleman,

In this very moment we have endorsed national commitment to deal this post disaster situation with united people and political process. Our government is carrying out relief efforts with the support of our neighbors and friends.  Nepal has been facing a severe lack of resources to combat the challenge posed by the natural disaster. As the UN requested 423 million USD for humanitarian need only 59.5 million has been received so far. According to the World Bank rough estimated this earthquake cost half of the national Gross Domestic Product. This is the biggest challenge we have so far to create the fund of 5 billion USD to come out of this devastation. We firmly believe that the role of ICAPP could be very significant in lobbying the governments and donor agencies to support Nepal. In this very situation we hope that the evolving historical organization like the ICAPP may organize a special conference to support Nepal in very near future.

We got the support during this difficult time from our neighboring countries– the countries of whole Asia and Pacific, the both Americas, Europe and Africa. We extend our thanks for all the supportive hands such as the UN, international organizations and the kind people of this world.  On this occasion here in Russia, I would also like to remember and extend my thanks for the great work of Russian Rescue Team. I extend my thanks to the ICAPP secretariat—especially Hon Founding Chairperson Jose De Venesia, Secretary General Chung Eui-yong and Vice Chairman Hon Sok An for showing their immediate concerns and solidarity resolution from Pnom Pehn Declaration.

‘Bhimsen Tower’ known as Dharahara crumbled down into pieces yet miracle happened with a young couple to survive at the top. Beneath the relics of crumbling houses kids rescued alive. Among the dead bodies, life still to be found. Amid the relief materials on the way the people without shelter in open sky started to make their own huts. They are yielding their wheat grains in the street with the running vehicles as a crop crusher. They have started to weed the growing maize crops. When life obstructed time and again among the devastation of an earthquake the people of Nepal have not lost their hope.

It is the greatest strength of people we have ever to face the challenge posed by the natural disaster. There is very simple fact on the basis that nature one day calm down and people will rebuild themselves with lesson learnt. Our security personnel, the youth and students, Nepalese people in abroad, civil societies etc have done a splendid job to rescue and support victims.  There is the broader unity among the political and bureaucratic forces to deal with this problem.  We are bearing two majors tasks in front of our country; one is to promulgate the new constitution and another to overcome the devastation caused by the earthquake. We are firmly committed to complete those major tasks with joint mission  United together our people can face this challenge.

Dear friends,

There are three stages to deal with this national crisis. First, the rescue stage is about to complete and we entering into the second stage of providing relief packages to the earthquake victims. The third stage is the reconstruction and rebuilding of our nation with more international cooperation. On this occasion I would like to appeal to all the dignitaries of the ICAPP to help the Nepal on the process of reconstruction and rebuilding.

I would also emphasize for the post earthquake investment in this very moment. The current Foreign Direct Investment should be increased with the orientation of humanitarian causes. It will really take our people towards the path of prosperity and development. After devastation there will be still people– our greatest human resource looking for employment. There are plenty of natural resources for the investment in productive sector. We have huge untapped water resources with hydro-power potential, the Agro-based industries, organic farming, herbi-culture etc are the unique comparative advantages of the Himalayas.  Nonetheless, the sylvan beauty of the Himalayas is still the great place to attract world tourists. The Himalayan competitive products of comparative advantage could still thrive your investment targeted big Indian and Chinese market.  We still expect your people would continue to visit Nepal that could help us to rebuild the crumpled world heritages. We still have many heritages, flora fauna, natural gardens and beautiful Himalayas to offer the world.

The international community could do this time to free Nepal from the overburdened foreign debt. We hope ICAPP members with countries of affiliation will support us in this regards.

The newly grown up areas for small tourism in the peripheries of Kathmandu are most hit by this devastating earthquake. We need to reconstruct the houses in new shape; probably need to do in more attractive and sustainable way. Your investment and assistance to build home stay tourism could really be the way to rebuild Nepal. Investment in tourism has single scope that the current contribution of 2 to 3 percent to national GDP could enlarge its many times with huge employment generation in Nepal.

Inviting almost eight hundred thousand tourists in recent years almost one million people are about to get direct and indirect employment opportunities. Now we need friends to make humanitarian investment focused on victims of earthquake to sell Nepali products in the world market in solidarity with the Nepali people. The prospects could be the investment in carpet industry, garment products, handicrafts etc by developing skills of earthquake victims and offering them the employment opportunities. You may help Nepal waiving the tariff on our products and help people buying these goods and services.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We are here in Primorskiy region of Russia to discuss about the possible economic cooperation between Asia and Russian Federation. We all know that this great country with vast hinterland has immense reserve of natural resources, yet already with advancement of technology and development. On this occasion I would share with you that there is small yet vibrant Nepali community in Russia entitled with best entrepreneurship are also the big investors in Nepal. Now these people are the major engine of Non-resident Nepali movement around the world. It is right time that we can weave golden leaves on this silk piece.

The booming economy of east and south coast of Asia has desperately needed of energy. Developing of the New Silk Road alone could be a great economic linking factor between Europe and Asia, which is obviously much faster than sea routes. It can help to flourishing intercontinental economic zones by linking cultures, histories and the people. As alone the land of Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan can feed the world population according to one estimate. The world longest Trans-Siberian railway could be a parallel complementary to the Asian populous world as also the south could encompass by the vision one belt one road.  Further, including the envisioned Maritime Silk Road alone encompasses 63 percent of world population in total with 29 percent of world aggregate GDP. Within this dynamic, Nepal should think as to how we link the chorus of this development process. Being Nepal in a strategic location, it can be built as a strategic point to bridge up the Asian economy.

Dear friends,

Nepal is lying between two emerging world economies—China and India. Talking about Asian cooperation we need to transform the geopolitical sensitivity of Nepal into economic opportunity by building the confidence among the neighbors.  Nepal cannot harbor envy against any neighbors and friends.  Time has gone to think that the northern Gondawana and southern Deccan plate move closer, the height of Himalayas goes up. We will not mess up into this de-linking factor. We know when they collide the Himalayas are down and the region will be more fragile.  We will keep our integrity for the stability in the region. Economic cooperation and intercultural dialogues are the most crucial factors in this regard.

At the end, I would say hereby that Nepal Himalayas has aesthetic values of peace and wisdom from prehistoric times. It is a node to link north and south; the east and west. The teachings of Buddha from the land of peace are very simple yet radiant. We value the cooperation among nations, the culture of peace, harmony and development in Asia and the world.

Long live Asian Solidarity for Peace and Development

Long live Russia-Asia Cooperation

Long live world peace, cooperation and solidarity.

Thanks for your patient to hear our views!

Thank very much !!

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