Ambassador H.E. Sridhar Khatri
At the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of
Fredericksburg-Kathmandu Sister City (Fredericksburg-Nepal Exchange)
University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg
10 May 2022
Provost of the University of Mary Washington, Mr. Tim O’Donnell,
Ambassador Scott Delisi,
Vice President and Member Coordinator, Fredericksburg-Nepal Exchange, Dr. Lekh Nath Adhikari,
Members of Fredericksburg-Nepal Exchange,
Ladies and gentlemen!
I would like to thank Fredericksburg-Nepal Exchange for inviting me in this important event.
Let me also express my appreciation at the launching of Fredericksburg-Kathmandu sister city initiative.
I am happy to be in this historic University – University of Mary Washington – which is dedicated to the mother of the founding father of the United States, George Washington.
In a sense, to be in this historic city of Fredericksburg is to pay a pilgrimage to the ideals and great values upon which the United States was found. Nepal as a fledgling democracy draws tremendous inspiration from the democratic ideals of the United States, which in itself is the world’s oldest and most ambitious experiment in democracy.
As an academic myself, I am delighted to be amidst the distinguished members of Fredericksburg-Nepal Exchange initiative in this historic University.
It is heartening to note that sister city relations between Kathmandu and Fredericksburg was initiated in the aftermath of 2015 Nepal earthquake. I take the opportunity here to extend sincere appreciation and gratitude of the people and Government of Nepal towards the American people and the Government for their humanitarian assistance to Nepal during that natural disaster, and also for their generous support towards reconstruction efforts in Nepal.
I am inspired by this civic-led initiative which seeks to foster cross cultural understanding between Nepal and the USA, particularly between the city of Fredericksburg in Virginia and Kathmandu. I am sure this initiative will result into positive outcomes in the communities in both countries. It is praiseworthy that the initiative is focused on exchanges between the two cities in the areas of culture, education, environment and tourism. Particularly, your focus on exchanges between the University of Mary Washington and Tribhuvan University in Nepal will benefit in cross fertilizing the ideas and innovation among the faculties and students of these two academic institutions.
I am impressed by some of the activities already carried out or planned for the near future by this organization:
- Partnered in creative writing program titled ‘Weaving Stories’ delivered to 20 students from Shivapuri School in November 2021 through Canopy Nepal in partnership with River Rock and Anshu, a first-year UMW student from Nepal.
- Partnered in organizing painting exhibition titled ‘Tsherin Sherpa: Spirits’ at Evans Court Gallery, Richmond organized with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts from February 19, 2022 – October 16, 2022.
- Going to organize ‘Nepal Fair’ in the Fredericksburg Market Square on 23 October 2022.
Such initiative, particularly during the year of the 75th anniversary of Nepal-US relations, at the people’s level will contribute to further strengthening the longstanding, close and cooperative relations between Nepal and the United States.
As the first great president of the United States said – “Every post is honorable in which a man can serve his country” – I am confident that the honorable members of the initiative will renew their dedication and commitment to the service of their respective countries by promoting the friendly relations at the people’s level between our two great nations.
I wish the AGM fruitful deliberations and every success in the future endeavors of the Fredericksburg-Nepal Exchange initiative.