Honoring Sujata Koirala

Writer: Leong Ying


On a rainy Monday night in the New York City Borough of Queens, local and national city officials and dignitaries, from as far as Boston, came to join the Nepalese community in receiving the Honorable Sujata Koirala. Details of her curriculum vitae would fit an entire book, so least to say that she formerly held the lofty governmental positions of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. Host and coordinator of this special event was Somnath Ghimire, President of the US Chapter for GP Koirala Foundation (www.gpkf.org.np), who’s Chairperson is Sujata herself, the daughter of the late Prime Minister of Nepal: Girija Prasad Koirala. The event was held in the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights, and although the flavor of the occasion was most certainly Nepalese, the diverse multicultural makeup of Queens filled the chamber with a cacophony of different races and religious beliefs. Perhaps the only monotone was related to the political spectrum, which predominantly was from the left-field of the Democratic party.


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John Liu (left) – New York State Senator alongside Somnath Ghimire (right) – President of GP Koirala Foundation America


The opening ceremony began with traditional Nepalese greetings and giving of gifts to the assembled notable people in the audience, which included Yuxiang Min, President of Wall Street News Agency. Speeches were given on the front podium by these guests of honor; some of them in their native Nepalese mother tongue. Politicians obviously took this center stage opportunities to pitch to their potential voters in the packed auditorium, especially those up for local, state and federal elections. Entertainment was provided by local troupes of dancers and singers; including the enthusiastic performances of both the Nepalese and US national anthems.


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Yuxiang Min – Wall Street News Agency honoree


Along with the politicians, there were many delegates from the United Nations in attendance; including Sherrill Kazan (President of World Council of Peoples of the United Nations), Guru Dileepkumar Thankappan (Chairman of Yoga Community and President of Global Interfaith Clergy Council), Monkol Thitithamasak (UN IT Manager), and most prominent was the presence of Amrit Rai, Ambassador to the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations. I included myself within this UN group since I am on the board of director of two NGO’s; namely Museum of the Future Foundation (founded by Teresinha de Jesus Nacli) and Global Empowerment Movement (founded by Dr. Queen Blessing Itua).


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UN Ambassador Amrit Rai (left) with Dr. Leong Ying (right)


With so much activities cramped into a short space of time, we must not forget the main reason for this warm hospitable gathering on such a cold damp evening, and that was to honor the presence of Sujata Koirala. Following her dynamic speech promoting the global efforts of her foundation to campaign for democracy, peace and development, local government officials presented her with a city citation honoring her life achievements as an accomplished politician and humanitarian champion. Meetings are only of good legacy value if they can seed meaningful paths forward; and to this aim, the finale saw clusters of like-minded entrepreneurs and thinkers exchange ideas and business cards on how to take that evening’s enlightening messages and turn them into actionable plans. And resonating within this grand chamber, were the parting words from the Honorable Sujata Koirala inviting all to her beautiful nation, which will be celebrating Nepal Tourism Year 2020.


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Honorable Sujata Koirala (far right) receiving her New York City Citation


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