Nepal Army chief Gurung assumes office

     General Chhatra Man Singh Gurung has formally assumed the post of new Nepal Chief of Army Staff (CoAS). President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, as the Supreme Commander of Nepal Army, offered Gurung the insignia and administered oath of office and secrecy at a special function at Shital Niwas here on Wednesday. Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, government ministers, top officials, army generals and dignitaries attended the ceremony. General Gurung is scheduled to assume his duties at the Nepal Army headquarters shortly. Gurung is the first person from the ethnic community to take over the mantle of CoAS in history of Nepal Army. He is also 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. The government had on August 22 recommended to the President, Gurung's name for the post of CoAS on the basis of his seniority. Gurung had been working as acting CoAS after Katawal went on a customary month long leave before his retirement on Tuesday, Nepalnews reported. September 10, 2009

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