Home National Govt mulls keeping Nepalis off war zones

Govt mulls keeping Nepalis off war zones

Sajani Thapa (left), niece of Chandra Bahadur Rana Magar, who was killed in a suicide attack in Kabul, consoling MagarÂ’s daughter Astha at their residence in Kathmandu on Tuesday. AsthaÂ’s siblings, Anup and Ashmita, are also in this image. Photo: THT

In Picture: Sajani Thapa (left), niece of Chandra Bahadur Rana Magar, who was killed in a suicide attack in Kabul, consoling Magar’s daughter Astha at their residence in Kathmandu on Tuesday. Astha’s siblings, Anup and Ashmita, are also in this image.

Kathmandu, June 22, 2016: Following the gruesome murder of 12 Nepalis in the Kabul suicide attack yesterday morning, the government is considering to completely ban Nepalis from going to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria for employment.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it would soon call a meeting of all concerned stakeholders, including the Ministry of Labour and Employment and Foreign Employment Promotion Board to plan and formulate policies to regulate foreign employment.

An emergency consultative meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa discussed ways to discourage Nepali workers from seeking employment in “those highly risky destinations,” foreign ministry spokesman Bharat Raj Paudyal said.

The Kabul suicide attack on unarmed Nepali migrant workers was the deadliest since the cruel murder of a dozen Nepali hostages by an Islamic terrorist group in Iraq in August 2004.

Paudyal said the government would identify manpower agencies and individuals involved in sending Nepalis to “partially open” Afghanistan, and completely banned Iraq, Libya and Syria, where thousands are said to be working.

Nepal allows its citizens to work in Afghanistan in “green zone areas”, meaning diplomatic missions, the United Nations and its agencies and some multi-national organisations.

The majority of Nepalis working in these troubled countries are hired by companies through individual contracts, facilitated by individual agents and broker agencies operating at home and abroad.

Charge d’Affaires of Nepal to Pakistan, Tirth Raj Aryal, who concurrently also looks after Afghanistan, arrived in Kabul early today and met Afghan authorities, visited the hospital and took stock of the medical and forensic formalities of the victims, according to the MoFA spokesperson.

Aryal also met the representatives of Sabre International, a British security consultancy firm which had hired Nepalis to work as security guards at the Canadian Embassy in Kabul and talked about the compensation for families of the deceased and treatment and repatriation of the injured.

Meanwhile, two of the seven injured in the Kabul attack – Krishna Kumar Deuja and Man Bahadur Thapa of Chitwan – were airlifted to New Delhi’s Apollo Hospital for treatment today. Three others will be airlifted to the Indian capital tomorrow, according to Paudyal.

A decision on medical evacuation of Chyangba Tamang of Nuwakot, who is said to be in critical condition, is due to be taken tomorrow. Paudyal said he would be airlifted to Delhi for further treatment should his medical condition improve.

Among the injured Amrit Rokaya Chhetri is said to have sustained non-serious injuries. Three others who will be evacuated to New Delhi tomorrow are Prem Bahadur Tamang of Morang, Chet Bahadur Sherchan of Myagdi and Kumar Bahadur Gurung of Gorkha.

DoFE had issued work permits to 11 of the killed

Department of Foreign Employment said on Tuesday that 11 of those killed in the Kabul attack had work permits issued by the department.

All of them were contracted by UK-based Sabre International and SIS, which supplied workers for the UN agencies. Akur Tamang from Sunsari alone did not have a work permit, DoFE spokesperson Mohan Adhikari said.

“DoFE had provided migrant workers with work permits after verifying authenticity of contracting companies and the contracts the individuals had submitted to obtain permits.”

Rubbing salt into wounds?

The government’s handling of information has rubbed salt into the wounds of the families of those who were killed in a gruesome suicide attack in Kabul on Monday morning.

On Monday afternoon, the foreign ministry informed Chandra Bahadur Rana Magar’s family about the incident saying that his condition was yet to be known.

That information was ‘too little too late’ for the family members who had learnt of the suicide attack hours earlier. “We were kind of sure he must have been caught up in the incident,” Gurung’s niece Sajani Thapa told THT.

“We lived in fear all day,” Thapa said. “We came to know about his death through the media, not through any of the government agencies.”