Commemoration of WWI (speech)

Ambassador's address at the Commemoration of First World War, Chaudfontaine, 04 October 2014

Dear Mr. Daniel Bacquelaine, Mayor of the city of Chaudfontaine

Dear Madame Madeleine Haesbroeck, President of the Cultural Council of Chaudfontaine

Dear Mr. Goethals, CEO of EIAS

Dear Mr. Groen, Honorary Consul of Nepal to Walloon Region of Belgium

Dear President and other members of NRNA Belgium

Dear President and executive members of Belgium Nepal Friendship Association (BNFA)

Distinguished Participants

It gives me immense pleasure to stand here today and pay tribute to the soldiers of Nepalese nationality who bravely fought and lost their lives in the territory of Belgium during the First World War. This commemoration becomes more important as this year is the centennial of the First World War and we have recently observed the completion of 50 years of diplomatic relations between Belgium and Nepal.

The historical importance of the two World Wars for Belgium, especially the first one, is evident from the fact that Belgium is commemorating that dark period of her history with top national priority.

It is a matter of honour for us to be part of the centennial commemorative events of World War I being organized by Belgian Government starting this year as Nepal also lost many of its nationals who fought under the then British-Indian Army in Belgium.

The Embassy, in coordination with the local municipal authority of Ieper, is in the process of installing a monument in memory of those fallen Nepalese Gurkha soldiers in Ieper. In this connection, with the objective of spreading the message of peace and cultural understanding the Embassy is also in the process of installing at various locations in Belgium a few statues of Buddha, who is also one of the National luminaries of Nepal.

I thank BNFA for arranging this wonderful opportunity and I thank the Mayor of the city of Chaudfontaine for hosting me and Nepalese community for this event.

Thank you all.