First Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank, first finance secretary and imminent civil society worker Himalaya Sumsher JBR was passed away at the age of 95.
Great-great-grandson of reformist and liberal Rana Prime Minister Dev Sumsher, Rana has not only seen long innings of Nepal’s transformation but also transformed himself to the modern context using social media, such as Facebook, to share his feelings.
An eyewitness of many natural disasters including the great-earthquake of 1934, World War II and pandemics, Rana’s experienced with COVID-19 pandemic as well. Born on January 8, 1928, well respected Rana laid the foundations of Nepal’s institutions, including Nepal’s Central Bank and Ministry of Finance.
Founder of Himalayan Bank, the first private bank, Rana was also the founder of Gorkha Brewery, which brews and markets high-quality Danish beer, Tuborg and Carlsberg, in the country. It was one of the largest foreign joint venture companies of Nepal at that time. Both Himalayan Bank and Gorkha Brewery stand as model joint ventures in Nepal.
Born in a Rana’s family with liberal views, Himalaya Sumsher always followed the course of political liberalism. Himalaya Shumsher Rana also faced a kind of personal exile following dissolution of multi-party system in 1960 by late King Mahendra. He was out of the country for over 25 years, serving the United Nations.
He took part in the revolution of 1950 supporting Subarna Sumsher Rana and signing the letter to end the autocratic regime. Rana also witnessed the transformation of civil service and political system.
He was a part of Peace Negotiations with Maoist. As a civil society member, he is still active in his role to protect democracy and bring peace and economic prosperity of the country.
Rana was a living history of over 90 years and part of all the transformation and change of Nepal. At 95, he was active. He was appointed as the first governor of Nepal on April 22, 1956.
He was also the founder of the Himalaya Bank and the first Finance Secretary of Nepal.
Lately, he was active as a prominent leader of the civil society movement of Nepal. He has also been proactive as the Founder of General Election Observation Committee (GEOC) to advocate for free, fair and impartial elections.
According to Rana’s son-in-law and Nepali Congress leader Sunil Bahadur Thapa, the former governor breathed his last at around 6:30am while undergoing treatment at Norvic Hospital in Kathmandu.
Rana worked as a representative in various countries from 1962 to 1986 under the United Nations Development Program. Also, a former finance secretary, Rana is the founder of Himalayan Bank.
He was conferred with the title of The Order of Japan (The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star) in recognition of his contributions.
Rana will be cremated at the Pashupati Aryaghat today. He is survived by two sons Ashoke Sumsher Rana and Amar Sumsher Rana and two daughters Pratima Pande and Sangeeta Thapa.