Ireland and Nepal share a bond between peoples: President
2018-09-01 15:40:12 -


By Chinedu Onyejelem


The convenor of the Ireland-Nepal Parliamentary Friendship Group has called on Irish Aid to focus on lasting connections between the two countries amid a consultation on new international development policy.

Maureen O’Sullivan TD was speaking at a special event in Dublin recently to mark 19 years of diplomatic relations between Nepal and Ireland.

Irish Aid needs to “look at ways to strengthen links with Nepal”, O’Sullivan said at the celebration organised by the Nepalese Embassy and Nepalese community in Ireland.

Cultural displays and an exhibition of photography were enjoyed by hundreds of guests including President Michael D Higgins — who received a book of his own poetry translated into Nepali by Dr Durga Bahadur Subedi, Nepalese Ambassador to Ireland and the UK.

President Higgins said the relationship between Ireland and Nepal was “fast becoming an enduring bond between the peoples” of both countries, adding that relations were “borne of, and sustained by, shared historical experience.”

The President continued: “Despite the vast distance in space between Ireland and Nepal, we have both endured long and sometimes difficult struggles to have our place amongst the nations of the world accorded, and the opportunity and responsibility of achieving the promise of a truly inclusive, open and socially just democracy, capable of meeting the needs of our peoples.

“We are both heirs to vast, profound and diverse cultural inheritance, so visible in our distinctive and rich musical and literary traditions, which remain one of the rich sources upon which our contemporary creativity can rest.”

Addressing all Nepalese in Ireland, President Higgins said they were very welcome in the State, adding that he was grateful for their contribution to Irish society.

Although only a small number of Irish people live in Nepal, the President said many others visit the country to enjoy its natural gifts. He urged both Irish and Nepalese to co-operate in achieving sustainable development by 2030.

“The Sustainable Development Goals holds out the prospect of a future free from poverty, exploitation and want, a world in which men and women are equal, in which diversity is not just tolerated but is celebrated, and in which all the needs of the people of our shared planet are met,” he said.

“Despite the vast distance separating Nepal and Ireland, we are both dedicated to achieving those goals. Our peoples and our nations share a common destiny, one filled with peril and possibilities, and we share too a determination to confront and overcome the challenges of this century, to build together a democratic future of hope, of opportunity and freedom.”

On the translation of his poetry into Nepali, President Higgins said it was “an honour for which I am most grateful”.

He paid special tribute to Ambassador Subedi for translating and editing the book. “The art of translation, particularly of poetry, is not an easy endeavour given the difficulty of adapting words to a new language, with its own cadence, tone and rhythm while maintaining fidelity to the original,” said President Higgins.

“While translation and interpretation, whether cultural, linguistic or social, are central to the practice of diplomacy, [it is] an invaluable gift to have a diplomat capable of mastering the technical art of literary translation.

“The Republic of Nepal is indeed too fortunate to have such an accomplished representative among its diplomatic ranks.”

Earlier, while welcoming guests at the event, Ambassador Subedi expressed optimism that Nepal-Ireland relations will continue to grow from strength to strength, adding that he was confident that Ireland will maintain support for the Nepalese government’s development efforts.

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