KATHMANDU: The government held a function to mark the sixth Constitution Day and the National Day today.

On the occasion, a special event was held at Nepali Army Pavilion in Tundikhel with President Bidya Devi Bhandari as the chief guest.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli addressed the function also attended by Vice-President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana, Chairman of National Assembly Ganesh Timilsina, ministers, chairpersons of the Constitutional Committees, officials of the Constitutional bodies, heads of the foreign diplomatic missions, distinguished guests and civil servants among other high ranking officials.

On the occasion, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, on behalf of the Government of Nepal, extended felicitations and best wishes of the Constitution Day and the National Day to all Nepalis in the country and abroad.

PM Oli in his speech said, “Having completed the seven-decade long struggle and the six years of deliberation, debate, and consensus while writing the Constitution, we had promulgated the Constitution of Nepal through the Constituent Assembly five years ago on this day.”

He also offered condolences to all the martyrs for their martyrdom during the movements. Oli further expressed his respect to the seniors who took the leadership of different movements up to the moment of the promulgation of the Constitution written by the people themselves through the elected Constituent Assembly.

Moreover, he also paid respect to all compatriots who contributed to the struggles: by being subjected to enforced disappearances; being deprived of family and property; and bearing damages in physical, mental and family terms.

The PM said, “We have been discussing the pandemic and its impacts that have wrecked our social life and posed serious jolt on our rising economy and the development endeavour.” He added, “We are observing the National Day within the limitations set by the pandemic. We are expressing grief and condolences on the loss of life and property.”

He reminded that life was yet to become normal since the lockdown was imposed for the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic. He recalled that more than 60,000 Nepalis have been infected within the country and added that though more than 43,000 infected persons have been recovered in this period, the pandemic has taken toll of nearly four hundred persons within the country and several hundreds of Nepalis compatriots working in the foreign countries.

While wishing for a speedy recovery of those infected, the PM expressed profound sadness on the loss of lives due to the pandemic. He also expressed condolences to all Nepali within in the country and abroad.

As a prevention measure, the prime minister emphasised about maintaining social distance, using masks, and washing hands time to time but also urged the entire nation to join the ‘healthy Nepal campaign’ by enhancing immunity.

He said the government has taken the pandemic as a challenge but also has utilized it as an opportunity and implemented the plan to strengthen health infrastructure all over the country through the annual budget of the current fiscal year.

The PM claimed that Nepal’s economy was in the trajectory of higher growth rate as Nepal had made significant improvements in 14 global different indicators, including human development index, doing business index, hunger index, law and order and rule of law index, tourism competitiveness, gender equality, school education, children and health care. “However, it is sad that COVID-19 has negatively impacted Nepali economy,” Oli added, expressing his hope that the nation would soon end the adverse situation and reverse back to the normality.

He also said that the government has given continuity to development works even during the lockdown citing 178 kilometres of roads tarmacked and 89 motorable bridges recently constructed.

The PM expressed his view that the constitution has achieved complete acceptability through the amendment of the coat of arms. He also thanked all the members of the Federal Parliament while congratulating one and all on the occasion of the sixth Constitution Day and the National Day.

PM Oli stated that he had been dismayed by the attempts to cast doubt or create confusion from some quarters about the government and said that he has stood firmly with the view that the democracy is not a system that feeds on rumours and swings its course. He said, “Democracy is the alternative to autocracy, and it is the rule of law. It is a dignified and disciplined system”.

He said the press freedom is the voice of democracy. He suggested, “Our mass media too should remain committed and be successful to the protection of people’s right to true information and raise itself to the level of ‘professional journalism’ by bearing the responsibility of ‘disseminating the fact-based truth and informing the society.”

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