Nepal celebrates the 8th Constitution Day and National Day today. On this happy occasion, I would like to extend greetings and felicitations to all fellow citizens living in Thailand and the accredited countries namely Cambodia, Laos, Singapore and Vietnam.
The Constitution of Nepal was promulgated on 20 September 2015. The promulgation of the constitution not only ended a decade long political transition but also the struggle of the Nepali people for a democratic, inclusive and representative political system in the country.
Like other countries of the world, Nepal also faced the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. We express sincere thanks to the governments and peoples of Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore and Vietnam for their solidarity with Nepal in its fight against pandemic. More importantly, we are grateful to the Royal Family Members of Thailand for their support to Nepal by sending essential medical supplies during difficult hours of pandemic. Now, the situation of pandemic has improved remarkably due to increased level of vaccine roll out and effective prevention, control and treatment measures adopted by the Government of Nepal. Nepal is fully open for international travellers. Fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated or even unvaccinated travellers can travel Nepal. Nepal Airlines and Thai Smile Airways operate direct and regular flights between Kathmandu and Bangkok. Nepal has already started welcoming visitors from around the world.
We are happy to note that Nepal enjoys very friendly, cordial and cooperative relations with Thailand and the accredited countries. Nepal and Thailand have more than two thousand years old history of people-to-people contacts. Teachings of Gautam Buddha and philosophy of Buddhism are strong binding threads between the peoples of our two countries. Both countries have similarities in terms of culture, religion and language. The bilateral ties have expanded in multiple areas, which include trade, tourism, culture, civil aviation and education, among others. As a member of the BIMSTEC regional organization, Nepal is committed to contributing constructively towards reenergizing BIMSTEC process under the chairmanship of Thailand.
Tourism and culture are important areas of Nepal-Thailand relations. Lumbini in Nepal, being the birthplace of Gautam Buddha and the fountain of Buddhism, is the most desired pilgrimage for the Thai people. The Royal Thai Monastery in Lumbini is a strong symbol of friendship between the two countries.
We are happy to share that the Government of Nepal has already started commercial flight from the newly built Gautam Buddha International Airport in Bhairahawa city since 16 May 2022. The new airport is 22 km east of Lumbini. Similarly, the government has completed the construction works of Pokhara International Airport and it is expected to operate from early next year. The operation of both the airports will provide vast opportunities for promoting cultural, religious and adventurous tourism between the two countries. We invite Thai airlines to operate direct flight to Gautam Buddha International Airport and take advantage from this new sector.
As Nepal and Thailand are fully open for international travellers and the capitals of the two countries have direct air-connectivity, we invite Thai people to visit Lumbini and other touristic sites and enjoy a lifetime experience. Nepali people have the deep-rooted culture of welcoming guests as god. The land of Gautam Buddha and the highest peak of the world- Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) welcomes you all.
Ganesh Prasad Dhakal
Ambassador of Nepal