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UK envoy quits foreign service

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

andy_sparkesThe UK ambassador to Nepal Andrew Sparkes, who recently courted controversy for his view on religious freedom, has quit British Foreign Service, cutting short his stint in Nepal.

Sparkes on Wednesday informed Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey and Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi that ‘he will complete his assignment in Nepal next month’.

In a brief press note, the UK embassy in Kathmandu has stated that Sparkes has taken a personal decision to leave the British Foreign Service after thirty years service and three Ambassadorial posts.

“He (Sparkes) wishes to have time to pursue other opportunities outside government,” read the statement.

“I may be leaving as Ambassador but I am sure I am not saying goodbye to Nepal. I wish success and prosperity to its great people, and hope to continue to play my part as an individual in the upcoming celebration of 200 years of special relationship between Nepal and the UK,” Sparkes has said in the statement.

Sparkes was dragged into controversy after he, in an article published in a local daily newspaper on 10 December, urged Nepal’s legislators to secure rights to religious conversion in the new constitution. He wrote: “we encourage you (Nepal’s legislators) to ensure that the right to change religion is protected, and that the right to hold opinions and to express them freely will remain strong.”

Political parties viewed Sparkes’ article on religious freedom as interference in Nepal’s internal affairs. There are speculations that Sparkes was forced to resign due to controversy sparked by his controversial article.





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4 Responses to “UK envoy quits foreign service”

  1. Armugam on Says:

    Good riddance.

  2. yam gurung on Says:

    In March 2015 UK government will mark the 200 years of Gurkha recruitment with big pomp of circumstance in Nepal and in UK.
    And UK government never been tired of preaching “Human Rights” and “Rule of Law ” to others.
    But the Gurkhas are still struggling hard to find the “STATUS” and British government still barred the Gurkhas,from the basic voting and human rights, family separation, pension issues’ etc.
    Gurkhas especially the martial race from Nepal,are in verge of becoming “Limbo” and “Illusion” in the 21st Century.

  3. Whatever on Says:

    How did it get him to interfere in a sovereign country’s affairs?

  4. Jacob Mead on Says:

    Article 18. United Nations Human Rights Declaration
    •Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

    Is Nepal a signed up member of the United Nations or not ?

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