Former Prime Minister and senior politician Tulsi Giri has passed away at his residence in Budhanilkantha, Kathmandu on Tuesday, after a prolonged battle with liver cancer, his family source said. He was 93.
A patient of liver cancer, Giri was discharged from Medicity Hospital recently. Giri was a former general secretary of Nepali Congress and later became the prime minister during Panchyat era. He is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.
Born in 1926 in Siraha district, Giri started his political career from Nepali Congress party. He reached up to the post of general secretary. He later turned a die-hard supporter of Panchyat system after then King Mahendra Shah imposed the system.
Giri held the post of prime minister for three terms. It is said that King Mahendra appointed him as Prime Minister after he presented himself as a stern critic of BP Koirala.
Giri was appointed Foreign Minister after then King Mahendra dissolved the elected parliament and imposed direct rule and imprisoned then Prime Minister Bisheweshwar Prasad Koirala on December 15, 1960. He was first appointed as vice chairman of council of ministers on October 4, 1962. Surya Bahadur Thapa was finance minister in the cabinet. Later on April 2, 1963, he was promoted as the chairman of Cabinet.
King Birendra appointed Giri as the Prime Minister on November 21, 1975. His second stint as Prime Minister lasted until 1977.
After the country eliminated the Panchyat system and absolute monarchy through the 1990 People’s Movement during the rule of King Birendra, Giri left the country and started living in Sri Lanka.
Giri was baptized to this wife’s faith, Jehovah’s Witnesses, because of which he spent sometimes in Sri Lanka and India. He returned to Nepal in 2005 when then King Gyanendra Shah appointed him vice-chairman of the Cabinet (equivalent to Prime Minister’s post).
Meanwhile, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, and former Prime Minister and Nepali Congress President and Sher Bahadur Deuba, among other senior political leaders, have expressed condolences following Giri’s demise. “I am very sad to learn the passing of the former Prime Minister Tulsi Giri. I convey my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and relatives,” PM Oli wrote in his tweet.
Likewise, former Prime Minister and Naya Shakti Nepal Party leader Baburam Bhattarai and Rastriya Prajatantra Party Chairman Kamal Thapa have also expressed their condolences on the death of Giri.