London-On Thursday 23rd November an almost 20 strong delegation of leads and representatives from UK Nepali community organisations entered Westminster Palace, famed across the globe as the ‘Mother of Parliaments.’
The visit’s purpose was to learn about British Parliamentary democracy to boost participation by the UK Nepali community and its voice in UK democratic processes, and learn insights about these that could be valuable in Nepal. The initiative was proposed by Mr Ekendra Gurung, Advisor Tamu Dhee UK, that was then taken up developed and facilitated by Alan Mercel-Sanca of the UK Nepal Friendship Society. The programme featured a presentation and questions & answers with the lead of the parliament’s education section, visiting & viewing the House of Commons and House of Lords, and questions and answers with Mr Virendra Sharma MP, chairperson of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Nepal.
Delegates learned about how to lobby parliament on issues, and naturally the still sadly unresolved questions on Gurkha rights were raised, and approaches on how these could be resolved were provided to the satisfaction of the delegation.
All delegates found the visit highly successful, and that it served its important learning purposes.
As a result discussions are now taking place in our Nepali communities on what was learned and how this can be applied in the UK for Nepali community voters empowerment, and what the UK parliament can share with that of Nepal on processes. But also what the UK Nepali community and Nepal’s developing parliamentary democracy can also guide and teach the Mother of Parliamentary democracy on for its benefit.
The visit was the first of its kind and the first ever made of a British ethnic minority community delegation comprised of community organisation leads. Its symbolism was historic, and the report that will be created regarding the learning outcomes of the educational fact-finding visit will be still more so.