RESCUE AND RELIEF: Diplomatic Downside

After completing the humanitarian efforts, the foreign military personnel have left the country, but they did so without receiving any word of applause from the prime minister

June 13, 2015, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol: 09 No. -1 June. 12- 2015 (Jestha 29, 2072)

Although they came to Nepal and performed the most difficult humanitarian mission after a major earthquake hit it on April 25, be they rescuing dozens of people and treating thousands of wounded, they were doing their work with the high level Nepali state authorities, including prime minister Sushil Koirala, who spared no time to appear in the public media while receiving the donations, giving them no word of publicly applause for their contribution.

Not only prime minister, even ceremonial president Dr. Rambaran Yadav, who is not visiting the earthquake devastated areas, did not visit the areas where many foreign armies worked.

For instance, India’s largest team landed just a couple of hours after the major earthquake and rushed to the devastated areas, risking their life, digging out dozens of people from rubble and providing emergency medical treatment to the hundreds of people. However, when they left, the prime minister found no time to send even a minister with a message thanking for their contributions.

Sending largest contingents of relief operation to carry out the relief and rescue mission, the Chinese also worked side by side in the humanitarian operations, providing helicopters. They saved dozens of people from rubble and provided medical facilities to the victims.

Supporting Nepal’s disaster management for a long time, holding several exercises with Nepal Army, the US marines also joined the relief and rescue operations shortly. In the process of carrying out the humanitarian operation in the remote mountainous terrains of Nepal, six American marines sacrificed their life alongside two Nepal Army soldiers.

Nepal announced the departure of all foreign military personnel involved in relief efforts six weeks after the first of two earthquakes ripped through the country.

Relief teams from 18 nations, including India, China and the United States, had been working to provide water, food, shelter and medical assistance to the country since a 7.8-magnitude quake struck on April 25. More than 4,000 military personnel arrived in Nepal following the April 25 quake.

The fact that Nepal’s neighbors, India and China, and friend United Sates responded quickly to the devastating earthquake has been remarkable. But the chilly response given to them by the government is a diplomatic disaster.

Whatever the response of the government and politicians, there was a wide warmth and recognition at the level of people, the beneficiaries of these rescue missions.  State may not have the records in the mind. However, the humanitarian missions performed by foreign countries will be in the minds of the people for a long time to come.

Foreign Missions Came To Save Lives And Returned

All foreign military missions returned after completing their their rescue work in Nepal.  Eighteen couuntries had sent their missions to Nepal during the relief and rescue operations.

The last batch to return was the team of 7-member canadian soliders. Indian Army team retured on June 3. Indian Army had sent the largest number 1415-strogn relief team to nepal, include 711 rescue memberrs, 226 medical personnel and 146 Airforce Service Men.

Canada had sent 27 medical personnel, 175 combat engineers and Humanitarian Assistance Team. America had sent 300 Air Force Service Men. China sent 102 search and rescue team, 140 medical, 24 Air Force Service Men, 676 Combat Engineers and Humantarian Assistance team. Similarly, the United Kingdom has sent 6 members of medical team and 128 comabt engineers and Humaintiarian Assistance Team. Japan has sent 114 medical teams, Bhutan 77, Indonesia 105, Thailand 54, Sri Lanka 141, Israel has sent 286, Spain 60, Aljeria 73, Bangladesh 19, Singapore 182, Malaysia 74, Poland 81. Altogeher 4,316 foriegn military rescue personnel particiapted in rescue and relief operations in Nepal.

According to a Nepal Army press release, it has shut down the Mulitnational Military Coordination Center.  Nepal Army has thanked all foreign military missions for their great support in carrying out rescue and relief operations. “Their contribution had helped provide the life of the people."

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