Gurung heads Nepal Army
General Chhatra Man Singh Gurung has formally taken up the responsibility of new Chief of Army Staff (CoAS), the top most post of Nepal Army, starting Wednesday.
President Dr Ram Baran Yadav in his capacity as the Supreme Commander of Nepal Army offered Gurung the insignia and administered oath of office and secrecy amidst a special function organized at Presidential Palace in Shital Niwas on Wednesday afternoon.
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, cabinet ministers, top bureaucrats, army generals and dignitaries attended the special function organized to administer oath of office and secrecy to the chief of national army.
According to Nepal Army Public Relations Directorate, the newly appointed army chief is scheduled to assume his duties at the NA headquarters from Thursday.
The government on August 9 had appointed Lt. Gen. Gurung as an acting chief of the army as the incumbent army chief Rookmangud Katawal took a customary leave one month before his retirement.
Gurung, 57, will head state army for next three years starting September 9.
This is the first instance of a person belonging to ethnic community heading the national army with 92,000 plus strong force so far. Traditionally, the army chief would come from the families close to erstwhile Royal Place. Only the ruling Shah, Rana and Thapa have
been appointed as the army chief in its entire history of some 250 years.
Among others, Gurung also takes pride to be the first army chief to be appointed by the President. The previous Army chief Rookmangud Katawal had received the insignia from then Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, who was acting as the interim head-of-state.
Started his army career in 1971 after completing Bachelor level education from Tribhuvan University, Gurung has had an untainted career as an apolitical officer within the army. Gurung has received training from the Indian Military Academy, Deharadun and has also completed military courses from US Army Command and General Staff College and National Defense University of China.
- Asian Tribune -