Incumbent 1st vice president Santabir Lama has filed nomination for the post of president of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA).
Lama, flanked by members of his panel, filed nomination at the NMA Secretariat in Nagpokhari on August 1. Diwas Bikram Shah, Maya Sherpa, Bodh Raj Bhandari, Tika Ram Gurung and Sudarshan Neupane for the post of first vice president, second vice president, general secretary, secretary and treasurer, respectively. Similarly, Binaya Shakya, Suman Prasad Neupane, Durga Shrestha, Shiva Bahadur Sapkota, Singi Lama, Mingmar Sherpa, Pasang Tendi Sherpa, Thakur Prasad Sapkota and Sanjeev Gurung are the candidates of executive members from Lama’s panel.
Lama’s panel has received backing of tourism entrepreneurs close to CPN-UML and UCPN (Maoist Center).
This means two separate panels will contest in the election for the new executive committee of NMA scheduled to be held in Kathmandu on August 5. Immediate Past President Zimba Zangbu Sherpa has fielded a 15-member team in the election.
I will promote NMA as a true alpine club
Why did you announce candidacy for the post of president of NMA?
My candidacy is to end the ongoing oligarchy system in the Nepal Mountaineering Association. NMA is not like a property where someone is selected as heir. In the past three decades, we saw leadership passed to near and dear ones of powerful. I want to end this practice. My mission is to develop NMA as a common forum of climbers, mountaineers, instructors and entrepreneurs, among others.
How is your opponent?
There are two candidates in the race. The incumbent president chose some as heir to lead the association. It is not acceptable to us. NMA is in need of a capable leader, not someone who uses others’ ladders to reach the post. My opponent has received backing of the incumbent president. But I am not worried. I have support of climbers, instructors, mountain experts and adventure operators who want to see change in the NMA.
What will be your programs if you are elected to the post?
My team has elected a list of programs and activities that will be implemented if my team wins the election. The first thing that I will do is use the good relation that NMA enjoys with UIAA, UAAA and other alpine clubs for development and promotion of adventure tourism industry. There are certain issues like social security of climbers, insurance for mountain workers and trainings to produce trained hands. Everyone should have access to these facilities. Existing leadership of NMA is providing these facilities only to people close to them. This practice should end. This practice should end. I will develop NMA as ‘our’ institution, not ‘my’.
Similarly, our team will take needful initiation to promote unclimbed peaks. We have 15 peaks above 8,000 meters, but only eight of them have received international recognition. I will lobby with the concerned bodies to get recognition for all these peaks. Similarly, we will work to promote and develop adventure tourism sector. I will also trim foreign trips of the association.
Any concluding remarks?
We have formed an inclusive team. If I am elected, I will streamline the management of NMA, end irregularities, and promote it as a true alpine club in the country.