EU denies ‘paying Rupa Sunar to incite ethnic tensions in Nepal’

File: Rupa Sunar

Kathmandu, July 2

The European Union Delegation to Nepal has denied some media reports that claimed it paid journalist Rupa Sunar to incite ethnic tensions in Nepal.

“Our mandate in Nepal focusses on a development partnership aiming at having a common understanding on issues of mutual concern and thereby working together to help Nepal achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and graduate from LDC status by 2026,” EU Ambassador to Nepal Nona Deprez said in a statement on Friday.

The EU Delegation to Nepal stands ready to provide further information on the EU’s activities and its partnership with Nepal, the statement reads.

A few days back, Sunar had complained she was denied a flat by a house owner in Kathmandu for being a Dalit. Following her complaint, the police had arrested the house owner, Saraswati Pradhan, but she was released later.

The incident had apparently divided the Nepali society as some supporting Sunar claiming it was a case of caste-based discrimination whereas others supported Pradhan, claiming she just practised her right to property.

During that time, some reports had claimed Sunar intentionally asked for a flat from Pradhan and reported she was denied it on the basis of her caste so as to instigate tension between Dalits and Newars. She was accused of receiving aid from the EU to do so.

But, the EU Delegation to Nepal says today, “The EU strictly provides financial support to Nepal through government treasury, multilateral agencies and civil society organisations operational in Nepal through a competitive and transparent process.”

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