The Nepal Embassy in New Delhi, India Circa 1990's
Nepal is a multiethnic and multilingual Hindu Kingdom. People belonging to many different ethnic groups live in Nepal. Similarly, people belonging to various ethnic groups speak different languages. Although Nepal is a Hindu Kingdom, people belonging to different religions also live in Nepal. Nepal is known for unity among diversity. People belonging to different religion, cast/ethnic groups and mother tongue live in harmony. Nepal is not only known for geographical diversity, but slso equally known for its social diversity. The social diversity has developed a multi-cultural society within the country, thus creating a beautiful garden, with different flowers of different cultural heritage. These different flowers are united in a single garland of national unity by the thread of unified Nepali culture constituted by Nepalese identities like Nepali language of the Nation.
Nepal’s Foreign Policy is a difficult, serious and sensitive subject owing to its geopolitics and underdevelopment. As everywhere and always, external security is the object of its search. So , far as Nepal is concerned, under development and the geopolitical position are the first harsh realities at the base of national security. Landlockedness is an additional handicap ( Y.N. Khanal, Essays in Nepal’s foreign Affairs, P.1.) Nepal is surrounded by land in all its sides, China in the north and India in all the remaining three sides. Prithvi Narayan Shah, the great King of Nepal, had compared this geographical situation with a yam ( a kind of edible root) lying between two stones. He had then advised us to maintain friendly relations with both of the giant neighbours. Therefore, Nepal’s foreign Policy has continued through the course of its history in time and space within the limits of its physical and political possibilities.
Nepalese foreign Policy seems to have acquired a new direction after the Treaty of Sugauli ( 1816 AD or 1873 V.S.) as it established its diplomatic relation with the United Kingdom in March 1816. During the Rana regime, Nepalese Foreign relation was limited only with two countries: India and England. Nepal extended its relation with other countries only after the political revolution represented the point of departure from isolationism in our external outlook.
Nepal became a member of the United Nations on December 14, 1955. It participated in the Bandung Conference of Afro- Asian Countries in the same year. Nepal is a founder member of Non aligned Movement and, therefore , it has participated in all the summit conferences of NAM from the very year 1961. Similarly, it has also been a founder member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation ( SAARC), established in 1985. Therefore, Nepalese foreign Policy has been guided by the principles of NAM and SAARC. Guiding Principles of Nepalese Foreign Policy
The Constitution of the State concerning the foreign policy of the country in the following words in Article 25 ( 5).
The State in its international relations, shall be guided by the objective of enhancing the dignity of the nation in the international arena by maintaining the sovereignty integrity and independence of the country”.
The Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal formulates the following state Policies concerning Nepalese Foreign Policy in Article 26 :-
Article 26(15) : The foreign policy of Nepal shall be guided by the principles of the United Nation Charter, nonalignment, the Panchsheel, international law and the value of world peace.
Article 26 ( 16) :” The State shall pursue a policy of making continuous efforts to institutionalize peace for Nepal through international recognition, by promoting cooperative and good relations in the economic, social and other spheres on the basis of equality with neighbouring and all other countries of the world”.
Name: Dr. Bhekh B. Thapa
Date of Birth: 1937, Tanahun, Nepal
Marital Status: Married
Education: 1956: B. A. (Honors), Calcutta University
1965: Ph. D. (Economics), Claremont University California, U. S.
1961-67: Member Secretary, National Planning Commission and Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs
1967-68: Governor, Nepal Rastra Bank
1969-71: Finance Secretary, His Majesty's Government of Nepal
1971-73: Vice President, International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada
1973-78: Finance Minister, His Majesty's Government of Nepal
1978-80: Founder Director, Institute of Integrated Development Studies (Non Profit Think Tank)
1980-85: Royal Nepalese Ambassador to the United States of America
1986-89: Resident Coordinator, United Nations System in Sri Lanka
1990-1991: Special Advisor to the Administrator UNDP, Geneva
1991-95: Visiting Scholar, IIDS, Nepal
March '96- Sept.1997: Royal Nepalese Ambassador to the United States of America
October 1997: Royal Nepalese Ambassador to the Republic of India (Cabinet Minister Rank)
Jyotirmaya Subikdyat Trishakti Patta Class -1
Suprasidha Prabal Gorkha Dakshin Bahu Class -1
Subikhyat Trishakti Patta Class-II
Mahendra Bidya Bhusan
Constitutional monarchy has been declared as one of the basic features of Nepalese political system. Consolidation of Constitutional Monarchy has been identified as one of the major objectives of the enforcement of the Constitution by the preamble of the Constitution, and Article 116 has not even permitted the amendment of the Constitution against the spirit of the Preamble. Thus the Constitution has made the Constitutional Monarchy an unchangeable feature of the Nepalese political system.
According to Article 27 (1) of the Constitution, the words” His Majesty’s mean His Majesty the King, a descendent of the Great King Prithvi Narayan shah and an adherent of Aryan Culture and the Hindu religion.
His Majesty is the symbol of Nepalese nationality and unity, under Article 27 ( 2) and His Majesty is to preserve and protect this Constitution by keeping in view the best interest and welfare of the people of Nepalm under Article 27(3).
Part 6 of the Constitution describes the composition and the functions of Raj Parishad. A standing Committee of the Raj Parishad consisting of a maximum of fifteen members, including a chairman and six ex-officio members, is constituted by His Majesty the King, Prime Minister, Chief Justice, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chairman of the National Assembly, Baba Gurujyu and Commander – in- chief are the ex – officio members of the standing Committee of the Raj Parishad.
Kingdom of Nepal at a Glance
Area: 147,181 sq.km
Geography: Situated between People's Republic of China in the North and Republic of India in the south, East and West
Latitude: 26" 22' North to 30" 27' North
Longitude: 80" 4' East to 88" 12' East.
Population: 22 millions
Language: Nepali is the National language. However travel-trade people understand and speak English as well.
People Nepal has more than 40 ethnic groups and 70 spoken languages.
Currency Currency Unit Buying Selling
Unit and Exchange Rates:
US $ 1 68 68
Euro 1 73 73
P Stering 1 109 110
G. Mark 1 37 38
Japan Yen 10 6 6
Note: It is illegal to exchange foreign currency with individuals and organizations other than authorized dealers ( bank, hotels and Licensed money changes)
Multi-party Democracy with constitutional Monarchy, Bicameral parliament and Independent judiciary. Monarchy is the symbol of national unity. The head of the government is the elected representative of the (lower House of the Parliament) mustering the majority of the House. The country has independent judiciary and free press. The Lower House of Parliament (People's Representatives with 205 members) and Upper House (National Assembly with 60 members) along with His Majesty the King constitute the parliament.
Nepal enjoys the distinction of being the only Hindu Kingdom in the world. However, there is a harmonious blending of Hinduism and Buddhism. Hinduism and Buddhism are the two main religions. The two have co-existed down the ages and many Hindu temples share the same complex as Buddhist shrines. In addition, Muslim and Christian constitute a small portion of the population.
Nepal has four major seasons, namely,
a) Winter: December-February
b) Spring: March-May
c) Summer: June-August
d) Autumn: September -November
Month Min (c) Max (c) Rainfall (Milimeters)
January 2.7 17.5 47
February 2.2 21.6 11
March 6.9 25.6 15
April 8.6 30.6 5
May 15.6 29.7 146
June 18.9 29.4 135
July 19.5 28.1 327
August 19.2 29.5 206
September 18.6 28.6 199
October 13.3 28.6 42
November 6.0 23.7 0
December 1.9 20.7 1
Clothing depends on place and time, however, it is recommended to have both light and warm clothing. In the mountain areas warm clothes are generally a must.
Nepal's Standard Time :
5 hours 45 minutes a head of GMT
Basic Features of Nepalese Political System:
Nepal is a Multiethnic, multilingual, democratic, Independent, indivisible, sovereign, Hindu and Constitutional Monarchical Kingdom. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal 2047 (1990) is the fundamental law of Nepal, which has defined in detail the basic political structure of the country. The following expression of the preamble of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal gives the basic features of the political system. ".... It is expedient to promulgate and enforce this Constitution, made with the widest possible participation of the Nepalese people, to guarantee basic human rights to every citizen of Nepal: and also to consolidate the Adult Franchise, the Parliamentary System of Government, Constitutional Monarchy and the system of Multi - Party Democracy by promoting amongst the people of Nepal the spirit of fraternity and the bond of unity on the basis of liberty and equality: and also to establish an independent and competent system of justice with a view to transforming the concept of the Rule of Law into a living reality.
Now, Therefore, keeping in view the desire of the people that the state authority and sovereign powers shall , after the commencement of this Constitution, be exercised in accordance with the provision of this Constitution , I, King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, by virtue of the state authority as exercised by us, do hereby promulgate and enforce this Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal on the recommendation and advice, and with the consent of the Council of Ministers. ( The Constitution of the Kingdom of Enpal, 2047, P- 1-2 )
Article, 116 (1) of the Constitution has described has process of amendment of the Constitutionin these words:
" A Bill to amend or repeal any Article of this Constitution, without prejudicing the spirit of the preamble of the Constitution may be introduced in either House of Parliament
Provided that this Article shall not be subject to amendment ".
Thus, the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal, 2047 (1990) can be amended without prejudicing the spirit of the preamble of the Constitution. The following features, therefore, can be recognized as the basic features of the Nepalese political system as they represent the spirit of the preamble of the Constitution:
- he guarantee of the basic human rights to every citizen of Nepal and the bond of unity amongst the people of Nepal
- Constitutional Monarchy
- Adult Franchise
- Parliamentary system of Government
- Multiparty Democracy
- An independent and competent system of justice with a view to transforming the concept of the Rule of Law into a living reality
- Sovereignty vested in the Nepalese people.