His Excellency Dr Suresh Chandra Chalise forewent the celebrations in London for the Nepalese New Year 2070 celebrations and came instead to Bournemouth, where he met lots of people from the burgeoning UK-Nepal Friendship Society, based in the borough.
Dr Chalise, accompanied by his wife Dr Milan Adhikary, greeted scores of guests throughout a day of activities sponsored by Bournemouth 2026 Trust.
He met Bournemouth University students – there are about 50 Nepalese students studying there – and other Nepalese people who live in the town. Altogether there are about 250 Nepalese people who live in the borough.
Chief officer of Dorset Race Equality Council and Bournemouth 2026 Trustee Adnan Chaudry and vice chair of the UK-Nepal Friendship Society Alan Mercel-Sanca invited Dr Chalise to the borough after working together to establish the society 14 months ago.
Their special guest attended St Augustin’s Church in Wimborne Road for an evening of Nepalese food, dancing and speeches with many invited guests from the Gurkhas.
Dr Chalise said: “This is so important, to integrate the Nepalese people into the community. Without links such as these people can become isolated.”
He added: “I met David Cameron and he was aware of the support the Nepalese community needed and said this country would take care of us.
“Our Gurkhas have been involved in the First and Second World Wars and now in Afghanistan – our relationship has been cordial and very strong.”
Mr Chaudry said: “The friendship society, and help from us, should go a long way towards enabling Nepalese people to integrate successfully into the community in Dorset.”
Mr Mercel-Sanca said: “I am so pleased the ambassador has chosen to come here for this important date in the Nepalese calendar.
“He could have gone to the celebrations in London but he didn’t.”