KATHMANDU: Murari Raj Sharma, who served as Permanent Representative to the United Nations and became Ambassador to UK, has sought political asylum in the UK, where he was Nepal’s envoy until he was recalled in early 2009. Former foreign minister Upendra Yadav, who had a hand in getting him sacked, says Murari has sullied country’s image and prestige by seeking asylum in a country where he was once an ambassador.
Multiple sources told THT that Murari had acquired a British passport with the status of “a political refugee.” He has sought asylum claiming that his life would be at risk if he returned to Nepal.
“Since I do not hold any political or public post, it should not be anybody’s concern if I stay here illegally or as a refugee,” Sharma told THT over phone from UK.
When asked why he had taken a step that would embarrass Nepal, he said, “I was kicked out in a humiliating manner. Had I been recalled respectfully, I would have reciprocated in a similar vein. It is my compulsion.” Interestingly, he said he would return to Nepal as soon as his wife’s heart surgery was over in a London hospital next month.
Chief Secretary Leela Mani Paudel told this correspondent that the government was working to frame an “appropriate policy” to deal with cases of former senior bureaucrats, including Sharma who was foreign secretary before his posting to the UN, who have stayed on abroad after being sent there in official capacity.
Sharma was appointed envoy to UK by GP Koirala-led non-Maoist government in February 2008. However, the then UCPN-Maoist-led government headed by Pushpa Kamal Dahal sacked him after the then foreign minister Upendra Yadav accused him of acting against “diplomatic etiquettes” in January 2009. Yadav blamed Sharma for violating diplomatic norms, as he approached the PM directly, bypassing Yadav. He termed Sharma’s claim that his life was under threat in Nepal bogus.
MoFA Spokesperson Deepak Dhital also claimed that Sharma faced no threat to his life in Nepal.
British embassy in Kathmandu refused to comment. “We do not comment on individual cases,” an Embassy spokesperson told this correspondent.