Tuesday 06 February 2018



The BBC World Service is holding a series of debates across the world based on the questions people want answers to now.  BBC World Questions -an international series of English language events created with the British Council - allows the public to question their politicians, leaders and opinion formers directly face to face. The debates are led entirely by questions from the audience who are able to have their points heard around the world. 


On February 6th, BBC World Questions comes to Kathmandu to host a debate on the country’s political and economic future and to find out what Nepal thinks about world events.  

 After an historic election, Nepal has chosen a communist coalition to run the country. Could this mark a turning point for the country, and deliver a long-awaited period of political stability and peace?  Nepal has been through great turmoil in recent years.  A decade-long insurgency left more than 17,000 people dead before a 2006 peace deal ushered in democracy.  In April 2015, a series of earthquakes killed thousands and destroyed homes.  In the past decade alone, ten different Prime Ministers have held office.  Recent elections were meant to mark the final phase in the country’s long political transition from the abolition of the monarchy to the establishment of a federal republic.  But the new government faces many challenges – can the coalition remain united? Will the new constitution deliver a more inclusive style of politics?  How will relations with Nepal’s two giant neighbours – China and India – change?

Chairing the debate at the Hotel Himalaya in Kathmandu, the BBC’s Anu Anand will be joined by a panel of leading politicians and thinkers who will be taking questions from the audience.  The panellists will include:

  • Baburam Bhattarai – former Prime Minister and current leader of the Naya Shakti party
  • Pradeep Gyawali - CPN UML party representative
  • CK Lal – eminent essayist and political scientist
  • Subina Shrestha – journalist and filmmaker

Stephen Titherington, Senior Commissioning Editor, BBC World Service English said: “This is a truly fascinating time to bring World Questions to Nepal just a couple months after the country’s historic elections.  Debate is at the heart of the BBC World Service and we’re keen to hear the questions being asked and the views being aired in Kathmandu about Nepal and about the world.” 

Jovan Ilic, Country Director British Council in Nepal, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the BBC in bringing World Questions to Kathmandu. This programme generates space for open and independent debates on current affairs, which supports the British Council’s objective of promoting cultural relations among people worldwide. We believe that connecting people both in Nepal and globally makes a powerful and lasting contribution to a more open and connected world.”

BBC World Questions is an English language event, created in partnership with the British Council and will be recorded for radio broadcast worldwide. The programme will be recorded in English on February 6th at the Hotel Himalaya in Kathmandu from 4pm – 7pm.  To join in the debate and be part of the audience please apply for FREE tickets HERE

BBC World Questions: Kathmandu will air on BBC World Service on 11th February at 12:00 GMT / 17:45 local time and available online after that www.bbc.com/worldserviceradio


For press accreditation to attend the debate and for any queries about BBC World Service please contact: suzie.schilling@bbc.co.uk


Any queries about British Council please contact:suchita.shrestha@britishcouncil.org.np

Notes to Editor



About the British Council

The British Council is the UK's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. Using the UK's cultural resources we make a positive contribution to the countries we work with - changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. 

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications.Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. The majority of our income is raised delivering a range of projects and contracts in English teaching and examinations, education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. Eighteen per cent of our funding is received from the UK government.