Greater Nepal is Possible
Interviewed by Agnichakra, National Monthly
Year- 5, Number-4, Volume-44, Date: October-November 2013.
Eurasia Border Review, Volume-4, No-2, Fall 2013
Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan
The Natural Environment and the Shifting Borders of Nepal
Buddhi N. Shrestha*
Nepal is bordered to the north by China and to the south, east and west by India. Nepal shares a 1,439 kilometer border with China with natural obstruction whereas there is a 1,880 kilometer long border with India that is open and porous. There is no natural obstacle on the southern border of Nepal. But it is an extension of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Due to the non-existence of a natural barrier, some spots on the southern border of Nepal have shifted, where boundary markers have gone missing and the no-man’s land is obscured. It has affected the social relationship between the inhabitants of the two frontiers. Voices have been raised often. Sometimes there are conflicts and violence against neighbours, including the staging of demonstrations and the shouting of slogans. Over time, the inhabitants of both the sides have negotiated to maintain peace and harmony by embracing and exchanging roses with each other. This story has repeated itself along the frontier. In such a situation, it is necessary to maintain the international boundary intact with vigilance from both sides. A joint mechanism should be established to prevent border-shifting activities from either side of the border.
This paper attempts to explain and analyze the situation behind the shifting of Nepal’s international boundary. It tries to provide some stories and the prime one is political. It examines the effects of border dispute resolution and cross-border migration, especially policy preferences towards Chinese migration. Findings have implications for research on border and inter-group relations, as the analysis supports earlier research. Current information has been collected from daily and weekly newspapers and journals and past incidents have been referred to from relevant books.
The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is situated between two emerging Asian giants, India and China. The frontier of Nepal is surrounded in its south, east and west by India; and in the north by China. Nepal runs from east to west, resembling an elongated rectangle.
The Himalayan Range, as a natural wall, is situated between Nepal and China. But there are neither natural walls nor man-made fences along the Indo-Nepal border. It is the flat Indo-Gangetic Plain that extends from India towards the Nepalese frontier. This porous borderline, unhindered by barriers, has often shifted due to human activity, changes in the river course and political reasons. It has challenged the identity of Nepal at local and national levels.
When we look at the historical background of the boundary of Nepal, it was Prithvi Narayan Shah the Great who initiated the unification of various small kingdoms and principalities of the Himalayan region in 1745. After his conquest of the Kathmandu Valley, he unified other smaller countries south of the valley to keep out of the influence and control of the British. After his kingdom spread out from north to south, he made Kantipur the capital of his expanded country, and called it “Nepal” instead of Gorkha. As a result, Prithvi Narayan Shah formally established Nepal as a Himalayan State and thus, Nepal was born on 17 November 1769.1
After the death of Prithvi Narayan Shah, his descendants Bahadur Shah and Rajendra Laxmi continued the unification movement, extending Nepal’s border from the Tista River in the east to Kangra in the west in 1806. Similarly, Nepal was extended up to the confluence of the Gandak and Ganges rivers to the south; and to Shigatshe and Tashilhunpo Gomba (monastery) across the Himalayas to the north, which now falls in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) of China. That was called the “Greater Nepal.”2
In the course of time, British India began not to like Nepal as a unified and integrated country. So there were some conflicts in the territory between Nepal and British India. As a result, there was the Anglo-Gurkha War (1814-1816). In essence, the Anglo-Gurkha War was primarily a struggle over how to
disentangle these complex relationships and the underlying visions of territory the two states adhered to. And it is this colonial encounter and the subsequent defeat of Gorkha that resulted in the territorial delineation of most of Nepal’s Tarai as we know it today.3 Because of time, situation, environment and activities of the past, the borderline has shifted to the Mechi River in the east, the Mahakali River in the west, the watershed of the Himalayan Range in the north, and to the plains of the Tarai in the south. This is the history of the territory of present-day Nepal.
Case Study of Shifting Borders:
China is Nepal’s northern neighbour. Nepal has had relations with Tibet that date back thousands of years, before the unification of Nepal. Although relations between Nepal and Tibet go back centuries, there were of course antagonisms and aggressions. But those hostilities were basically over trade, economic and monetary reasons. Attacks and counterattacks on each other’s territory had resulted in some changes in the border. During those wars, Gorkhali had expanded their territory inside Tibet near Lhasa.
Actually, the Tibetans wanted to expand trade to India through Nepal. Responding to Tibet’s proposal as an opportunity, Nepal sent a delegation to Khasa of Tibet located in the northeast of Kathmandu. Representatives of the two countries signed a trade agreement at Khasa on 5 September 1775. This trade agreement is known as the Khasa Agreement, which included a provision that left the previous border unchanged. The treaty aimed to strengthen the border between the two countries.
During the regency of Bahadur Shah, he sent a protest letter to the Tibetan government expressing dissatisfaction with them for not complying fully with the terms and conditions of the trade treaty. In their reply the Tibetan government instead, made several accusations against Nepal. Also Tibet planned to attack on the pretext that Nepal had given asylum to Shyamarpa Lama who had fled to Nepal from Tibet. So the environment was not congenial between the two countries.
In the summer of 1788, Nepal sent Gorkha troops under the joint command of Damodar Pande and Bam Shah to attack Tibet. The Nepali troops led by Damodar Pandey attacked Tibet. The Tibetans could not resist, and the Nepali troops pushed forward through Rasuwagadhi and Gorkha to the north capturing trekking passes like Kerung and Kuti and expanded Nepal’s border northward and also pushed up to Sigatsche (Tashilhunpo) which is located in the southwest of Lhasa. But the Tibetans proposed a treaty thinking that the Nepalese troops would be at Lhasa. There were several rounds of talks, and finally, Nepal and Tibet entered into an agreement on 2 June 1789, which was mediated by the Chinese representatives. This agreement is known as the Kerung Agreement. The agreement contracted Nepal’s territory to Rasuwagadhi.4
In the course of time, Tibet began to believe that the Kerung Agreement was controversial and proposed that it should be amended. They said that the treaty was still not ratified by the Lhasa palace. On the other hand, they also felt that Nepal might not agree to their reasoning and could carry out an attack again; so they started preparing for war. Nepal became suspicious. These events led to another war between Nepal and Tibet.
Then Nepal sent its forces from two sides to attack Tibet on 6 August 1791. The Nepalese forces pushed on, capturing Digarcha, the capital of Tashi Lama. In this way Nepal’s border expanded to Sigatsche and Tashilhunpo. In this context, Tibet asked China for military help. The Chinese forces arrived in Lhasa to help the Tibetans. The Chinese forces attacked the Nepalese and drove the Nepalese forces back from the expanded territory. The Chinese troops pushed further south and reached just 30 kilometers north of Kathmandu, the capital city. But despite several efforts, the Chinese troops failed to cross the Betrawoti River. Taking this opportunity, the Nepalese troops launched a counter-attack upon the Chinese troops with additional forces. The Chinese side suffered heavy casualties. Weary and tired, the Chinese wanted to end the war and preferred a treaty. Talks were held between the two sides, and an agreement was reached on 5 October 1792, bringing the war to an end. This agreement is known as the Nepal-Tibet Treaty (Betrawoti Treaty) of 1792.5
Under the treaty, the border of Nepal was shifted back to the line north of Rasuwagadhi. In this way, the Betrawoti Treaty tried to keep Nepal’s northern border stable under the impartiality and fairness of China that made the present border of Nepal. Likewise, the Tibetan government was disinclined to provide security, under the Betrawoti treaty, to Nepali traders living and doing business in Tibet. By 1854, differences between the governments of Nepal and Tibet further widened. This was coupled with border disputes. Nepal handed over the pastureland south of Khasa to Tibetans for cattle grazing based on annual contracts. But the Tibetans made settlements there and began collecting land tax from them. Tibetans intended to include the land within their territory. To materialize their intentions, the Tibetans dug 80 feet wide trenches at different segments one mile south of the Nepalese border and began claiming that the land belonged to them. Knowing about the nuisances of their situation, Prime Minister Jung Bahadur sent officials to recoup the land tax collected by the Tibetans, to restore Nepal’s claim to the territory and to collect taxes. Tibetans did not accept Nepal’s claim that they had encroached upon Nepalese territory and had shifted the borderline. However, Nepal was not satisfied, and, as a result, another war between Nepal and Tibet erupted.
In the meantime, Nepal asked Tibet to return the Kerung and Kuti areas that were previously under Nepal’s control; and also to hand over the Taklakot area in the north of Darchula along the route to Lake Manasarovar. The Tibetan government responded, but did not mention anything about the demand raised by Nepal. Failing to get a clear reply, Nepal formally declared war against Tibet on 6 March 1855. Under the military plan, Nepalese troops attacked Tibet from the north and west, and pushed northward, capturing the Kerung, Digree, and Jhungagadhi areas. Nepalese forces that marched northeast captured Khasa and Kuti in the north of Sindhupalchowk on 3 April 1855, and pushed farther north to Sunagampa and remained there.
The Nepalese had remained for eight months defending the newly conquered territories. But a combined force of the Tibetans and Chinese carried out a surprise attack at Kuti on the night of 5 November 1855. The Nepalese were defeated. In the meantime, after the commander of the Nepali forces who had withdrawn from Kuti requested additional troops from Kathmandu, the reinvigorated Nepalese troops attacked Kuti from three sides. Then Kuti was restored again within Nepalese territory.
When the Nepalese troops achieved success in all sectors, the Tibetans proposed peace talks at the border. Finally, both sides agreed to resume the peace talks, and negotiations were held at the Thapathali Palace in Kathmandu. Both sides then reached an agreement for a treaty, and a treaty was signed on 24 March 1856. The treaty is known as Nepal-Tibet Peace Treaty, but is also called as the Thapathali Treaty. This contracted Nepal’s border with Bhairablangur Himal and Nepal’s border was fixed at Tatopani, which is also the present-day border of Nepal.6
In this way, by the time of the Thapathali Treaty, Nepal’s northern border had expanded and contracted to and from the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) of China and finally it was shifted to the Himalayan Range. At that time, the majority of the Himalayan Range had remained within the Nepalese frontier, and remained so for nearly a century. All of these events and incidents show that Nepal’s northern border shifted seven times within a period of eighty-one years.
The relation between Nepal and China strengthened after Tibet became an autonomous region of China. To enhance the relationship further, it was agreed that the formal settlement of the boundary between China and Nepal was of fundamental importance to the peoples of the two countries. It was believed that the formal delimitation of the entire boundary and its consolidation as a boundary of peace and friendship not only would constitute a milestone in the further development of friendly relations between Nepal and China, but also would make a contribution towards strengthening peace in Asia and the world. Both governments agreed to delineate and demarcate the customary boundary line in a scientific way.
The Nepal-China Boundary Agreement was made on 21 March 1960. After both sides finalized the details, the Boundary Treaty was made on 5 October 1961. The King of Nepal and the Chairman of the People’s Republic of China signed the treaty, after the physical boundary line was delineated.7 Then the actual boundary line was demarcated physically. During the joint boundary demarcation on the Sino-Nepal borderline there were disputes, conflicts, debates, controversies, claims and counter-claims in 32 places, including the question of Mount Everest (Sagarmatha).
It is commendable that all disputes, claims and counter-claims were settled in accordance with the principles of equality, mutual benefit, friendship, mutual understanding and accommodation. Besides, this settlement was adopted by the parties, following the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, and in the spirit of fairness, reasonableness, mutual understanding and most importantly respecting each other as equals in the international arena. Accordingly, all issues, except Mount Everest (Sagarmatha) had been settled by the Joint Boundary Committee. Regarding the question of Mount Everest, the dispute was settled, and the visiting Prime Minister Chou En-Lai made a statement in Kathmandu on 28 April 1960 that “Mount Everest belongs to Nepal.”8
The demarcation of territory was made according to the treaty. Joint survey teams were formed to carry out border surveys and they started to erect permanent pillars and markers from 21 June 1962 at different points along the border.
Under the treaty, the border areas have been adjusted according to its traditional uses, possessions and convenience. This adjustment was made on the basis of “give and take” and the inclusion of some pastureland within Nepalese territory. With this principle, Nepal had given some 1,836 square kilometers of land to China, while China had given Nepal 2,139 square kilometers, adding 302.75 square kilometers of Chinese territory into Nepal.9 This is, hopefully, the last border shifting between Nepal and China.
In connection to the demarcation of the boundary with the watershed principle, there were some problems of cross-holding occupation. For example, when agricultural land and pasturelands owned by a citizen of one country falls on the other side of the border, there was a question of citizenship of that owner. To solve this problem, the owners were given a choice of nationality.
The joint teams demarcated and established pillars and markers, specified serial numbers 1 to 79 from west to east. Among them, there were 48 larger and 31 smaller-sized pillars. In addition, they had established 20 offset pillars, where there were possibilities of disappearance of main pillars due to natural circumstances, so that the total number of pillars and markers constructed reached 99 in total. The total length of the demarcated borderline was delineated as 1,439.18 kilometers. Erections of border pillars were completed within a year without making any discrepancy in words and actions.
The boundary treaty signed on 5 October 1961 determined the borderline in a formal and scientific manner, and was used following the traditions and conveniences of Nepal and the TAR of China. The treaty also resolved minor scuffles that were left by history, giving rise to the borderline becoming a symbol of peace and friendship. After signing the treaty, officials of both countries expressed satisfaction for resolving once and for all the problems that had remained for a long time. It was also felt that the treaty made a great contribution to the future generations of both countries.10
The northern borderline of Nepal has been fixed at almost the watershed of the Himalayan Range; as the northern border consists of many Himalayan peaks, the borderline goes through mountains, passes, deuralis (terminal points of up mountain), gorges and the pasturelands. Finally, the Nepal-China boundary protocol was signed on 20 January 1963. It was also mentioned in the protocol that there would be joint inspections of the entire length of the border by teams comprised of representatives from both countries every five years, but inspections may be postponed whenever agreed upon by both parties.
To renew the protocol, the border was jointly inspected and the damaged pillars were maintained and repaired. After completing all the formalities, the boundary protocol was renewed on 20 November 1979. In the same way, the third protocol was renewed on 6 December 1988. To formulate the fourth and last protocol, joint inspection and border survey mapping were started on 9 May 2005. The joint teams inspected, repaired and maintained a total of 99 pillars and markers. All the technical works, including the preparation of digital strip-maps have been completed. It has prepared 57 sheets of border maps based on GPS technology. But, minor issues remain to be tackled. Regarding boundary marker number 57, it was found slightly placed inside Nepal. It is a controversy concerning about 6 hectares of land. Therefore, a joint technical boundary committee meeting, which will prepare the fourth boundary protocol, is currently on hold.
Now we come to the case study concerning the southern boundary of Nepal. Prithvi Narayan Shah the Great had started to unify 56 small kingdoms and principalities into the strong Himalayan State of Nepal in 1769. His successors completed the unification campaign and the territory of Nepal was extended from Tista to Kangra as Greater Nepal by 1806. In those days, the British, who had entered into India with the intention of doing business there, were ruling India. Probably not liking the rise of Nepal, they began to turn their eyes towards Nepal. The British East India Company government was looking for any opportunity to expand trade to Tibet. But, since the border of the then Kingdom of Nepal had extended west to east covering the northern frontier of British India, Indian businessmen did not have direct access to Tibet. All easy access transit points to enter into Tibet from India were within the borders of Nepal. The British did not see any way to fulfill their wish to establish trade with Tibet through Nepal, except through military force. So they raised the issue of the boundary dispute of the Seuraj and Butawal areas of Nepal as a pretext for war. The East India Company sought to threaten Nepal with war.
The British sent a letter to Nepal in March 1814, ordering them to abandon their occupation of the territory of Seuraj and Butawal. If Nepal did not send back a satisfactory reply within 25 days, they would take these places by force. However, Nepal did not respond, and Lord Hastings officially declared war against Nepal on 1 November 1814. Then a dreadful war between the Gorkhali and the British army took place. Many fighters on both sides lost their lives during the war. In the meantime, the British proposed a treaty and the Nepalese government was also ready to negotiate peace terms. Finally, a treaty of peace and friendship was drafted and sent to Nepal by the East India Company on 2 December 1815. Nepal signed the treaty on 4 March 1816 at Sugauli. The Anglo-Nepal War was now over.
This treaty became known as the “Treaty of Sugauli” (1816). It was mentioned in the articles of the treaty that Nepal would have to give up the claim on all the territories that had become a matter of dispute before that war, accept the authority of the Company Government over the Tarai (plain area) across the Tista River in the east, and to Satlaj and Kangra in the west.11 This treaty largely shrunk the border of Nepal to the Mechi River in the east and the Mahakali River in the west. The foothills of the Siwalik Range represented the southern border of Nepal with India. As a result, one-third of Nepal’s territory was chipped off.
In fact, the Treaty of Sugauli favoured the East India Company, while Nepal suffered a heavy loss of territory. Nepal was highly dissatisfied to lose a large chunk of land from Mechi to Tista, where there was no war. So, to pacify Nepal and as an indemnity, the Supplementary Boundary Treaty was made on 11 December 1816 which restored to Nepal the Tarai lowlands from Koshi to the Rapti River. Following the signing of the Boundary Treaty on 15 November 1860, as a reward for putting down the Sepoy Mutiny in India, British India returned the ceded western Tarai lowlands of Nepal from the Rapti to Mahakali as new territory (Naya Muluk).
The Treaty of Sugauli (1816) and Supplementary Treaty (1816) provide the bases for the delineation and demarcation of the eastern, western and a portion of the southern border of Nepal, even though the Boundary Treaty (1860) implied the southwestern portion, as the restoration of Banke, Bardiya, Kailali and Kanchanpur districts as new territory. And this became the boundary of present-day Nepal. It could be said that Nepal’s southern boundary line expanded and shifted four times within a period of fifty-one years.
After the restoration of the lowlands, the southern border of Nepal with India now runs through fertile plains, jungles, rivers and settlements as well. In the east there are the Mechi River and the watershed of the Singhalila Range with hills and hillocks comprising the border. In the west, the Mahakali River runs along the border between Nepal and India.
It is interesting to mention that even after the Sugauli Treaty, there were disputes and differences at various places. But following the signing of the Supplementary Boundary Treaty, it was envisaged that such disputes would be settled with mutual understanding on the basis of exchanges of territory of equal size. It further says, as it is impossible to establish desirable limits between the two states without a survey, it would be expedient that commissioners be appointed on both sides for the purpose of arranging in concert a well defined boundary on the basis of the preceding terms, and of establishing a straight line in the frontier, with a view to distinctly separate the respective territories of the British government to the south and of Nepal to the north. In case any indentations occur that threaten to destroy the even tenor of the line, the commissioners should affect an exchange of lands so interfering on principles of clear reciprocity.12
Additionally, there were also provisions to exchange any portion that jot in or out of the straight line on the principle of clarity and mutuality. They agreed that if the land of any individual fell across the boundary line, the issue would be put before the governments of the two countries to solve the dispute. The commissioners were also given the authority to make agreements and to make exchanges of such land to allow the landowners to remain within their previous territory. It was also agreed to carry out surveys to establish border markers, and to exchange documents showing borderlines approved by both the governments.
The border demarcation work between Nepal and India was started in the spirit of the Treaty of Sugauli. Surveying and demarcation of the border with the erection of pillars had been started just after the monsoon season of 1816. The boundary line between the two countries was surveyed and demarcated from 1816 to 1860; from 1882 to 1885; in 1906; and from 1940 to 1941. This process divided it into nine different sectors with the erection of 913 boundary pillars.
During demarcation, Nepal and the East India Company government had disputes at several places over the border. For example, it was not clear whether the borderline should be the top ridge or the southern or the northern foothills of the Chure Range. In this regard, disputes had erupted in the area from Dunduwa Range of Dang to Arra Nala and Taal Bagoda in 1817. Similarly, there was a dispute about the ownership of Antu Danda of Ilam in 1825. There was also a dispute in 1838 over whether the Mechi River originated from the northeast or the northwest.13 There was also a “mine- and-yours” controversy regarding the border areas adjoining with Tirhut and Sarun districts of India. In 1840, there were claims and counter-claims about the ownership of several villages and settlements of the Ramnagar area.14
The above-mentioned examples illustrate that there were disputes about the border just after the Treaty of Sugauli, which showed Nepal’s disenchantment with the treaty. Disputes in several areas had been settled, but in so many other places the disputes and conflicts lingered.
During demarcation from 1816 to 1906, border pillars had been placed at a distance of one to 2.5 kilometres according to the terrain. Strip maps were prepared in connection to the border demarcation. Some segments of the borderline zigzagged, some formed triangle-shaped sharp lines, while others bent at acute angle. But no sufficient boundary markers were erected on these winding/bending lines and river courses. So the actual line of demarcation was obscure in some segments. A no-man’s land with a ten-yard width (Das Gaja) on both sides was not maintained in those areas. This was the cause of future disputes and conflicts in some spots.
Over time, portions of Charkoshe Jhadi (a dense forest) along the Tarai plain border strip were cleared to provide settlements for the hill people. Besides, some border rivers changed course during the monsoon flood season, eroding the boundary pillars. This further obscured the border, increasing the probability of the encroachment of the adjoining densely populated frontier of India. At that time, there was population pressure in Indian settlements, especially in Bihar. So the adjoining Indian inhabitants started to migrate into the Nepalese frontier for their livelihood. These were some of the causes of the shifting border of southern Nepal.
In due time, the government of Nepal became aware of Indian migration into Nepalese territory, and formed an inspection team consisting of personnel from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs and Land Survey Department. They inspected the border pillars, and supervised the conditions of the no-man’s land during the dry seasons of 1965 to 1967. Finally, they submitted a report to the government mentioning that there was no clear demarcation in many portions of the border. Hundreds of boundary pillars went missing, and a considerable number of pillars and monuments were in a pitiable state, having been destroyed, dismantled or smashed. Additionally, many places in the no-man’s land had been cultivated.
The Nepalese government realized that conditions in its lowland territory, consisting of the southern belt and a portion of the eastern and western segments, were in a deplorable condition. As this may cause future problems, Nepal moved diplomatically and held talks with India to formulate Nepal-India joint border inspection mechanisms to keep the border clear and intact. Talks went on for almost a decade, and only after long consultation and conversation did the two sides finally agree on 25 February 1981 to work jointly to clear and maintain their joint border. As a result, the Nepal-India Joint Technical Level Boundary Committee was formed in November 1981.
Since then, various minor issues have been resolved, subsidiary/additional pillars have been erected, and strip-maps of the resolved areas have been drawn. But the joint committee could not settle major issues of encroachment or disputed portions. In fact, the Joint Technical Committee (JTC) worked for 26 years and completed 97 percent of the boundary. The remaining 3 percent of the border in various spots was beyond their capacity. This unsettled portion of the border consists of the Kalapani-Limpiyadhura encroachment (17 km), Susta (24 km) and various other spots (15 km). There are encroachments, cross-holding occupation, disputes, conflicts, claims and counter-claims in 71 spots having approximately 606 square kilometers. The prominent areas have been identified as Kalapani-Limpiyadhura, Susta, the Mechi riverine area, Tanakpur, Sandakpur, Pashupatinagar, Hile, Thori, etc. The largest single chunk of encroachment is Kalapani-Limpiyadhura (370 km2) of the Darchula district and the smallest portion is Fatak (240 m2) in Pashupatinagar of the Ilam district. It could be said that the boundary treaty and the statement of delimitation are not clear. This has created doubt and suspicion about the mitigation of the boundary issue.
The JTC could not settle major issues of encroachment or disputed portions as there are unresolved issues in more than 71 places. The main issues regarding the disputed boundary with India are border encroachments, disputes on mostly cross-holding occupations, and divergent opinions on basic materials such as maps and old documents for demarcation. The other reason is the slackness in joint survey field teams and a lack of equal participation. Bernardo Michael commented, “Even today, the presence of boundary disputes between India and Nepal, clearly show that this project of drawing modern boundaries will always be an unfinished one, because human actions can never be fully constrained by lines drawn on a map.”15
Reasons of Shifting the Border
Historically, the main reason for the shifting of Nepal’s borders was due to economic activities during Nepal’s expansion. During the eighteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries, Nepal used to export foodstuffs like rice, ghee, and dry vegetables to Tibet. Even Tibet’s monetary coin was minted in Nepal and sent to Tibet.
On the other hand there were Nepalese businessmen in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. They used to bring merchandise to Lhasa while travelling from Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, to Lhasa. In return they would bring gold, raw wools, woolen materials and edible salt to Kathmandu. Sometimes Nepalese would be obstructed by Tibetans at border crossing points. So there would have been disputes, controversies and conflicts. As a result, Nepalese troops would march ahead to Tibet to settle these disputes. In connection to these activities, there were violent confrontations between Gorkhali and Tibetan army troops. Usually the Gorkali (Nepalese) army would overrun the Tibetan army and the Nepalese borderline would be expanded towards the Tibetan frontier as a shifting of the border inside Tibet.
After the loss of territory, Tibetans would ask China for help. China supported Tibet by sending an army battalion. Then war would break out between the Gorkha army and Chinese troops. In many confrontations, Nepalese troops would retreat, resulting in the loss of the expanded territory. Again the border shifted back nearly to the previous borderline before the making of a peace treaty. In such a fashion the northern border of Nepal frequently shifted to and from Tibet in the treaties of 1775, 1789, 1792, and 1855 – between Nepal and Tibet; and in 1961 with the People’s Republic of China.16 One could say that a conflict of interest, misunderstanding, and the misbehaviour between the people of two frontiers created an environment that encouraged the “re-bordering” and “de-bordering” of Nepal. In the twentieth century, the borderline between Nepal and China shifted a little towards China and some portion of Chinese territory to Nepal reciprocally. It was a case of “Give and Take” in the boundary demarcation of 1961. This represents a case of the northern boundary of Nepal shifting to and from China.
So far as the southern boundary of Nepal with India is concerned, it has shifted frequently due to territorial disputes and conflicts between the two governments. After unification, Nepal was established as a strong Himalayan kingdom called “Greater Nepal” in the nineteenth century. At that time, the British East India Company government did not like Nepal as a unified and sovereign country. The reason behind this was that Nepalese territory had obstructed India from penetrating into Tibet. So India at first disputed some portions of Nepalese land that was supposed to belong to the then King and Prince of India. But Nepal protested it. The British annoyance with Nepal resulted in the Anglo-Gorkha War from 1814 to 1816. During the war, the Gorkha army would sometimes drive away the British army in some segments of the boundary, while British troops would capture some territory of Nepal in other segments. In such a situation, the war ended with a treaty and Nepal lost one-third of the territory of Greater Nepal. In this manner Nepal’s southern territory shifted back in 1815, two times in 1816, then in 1860 and 1875 to Nepal’s present-day boundary.
Boundary disputes and conflicts failed to cease even after the treaties between British India and Nepal. Incidents continued even after the independence of India in 1947. The dispute was taken by independent India as a legacy from the British regime. With this sentiment, there are border encroachments, disputes, conflicts, controversies, claims and counter-claims in 71 places between Nepal and India.17 There is still the possibility that the border of Nepal will shift a bit more south in some spots.
There has been a very good relationship between the people of the frontiers of Nepal and India for centuries. Some of them have matrimonial relations with each other. Nepalese girls often become daughter-in-laws of Indians. In the same way Indian boys have become son-in-laws of Nepalese; both sides’ parents are tied as parent-in-laws. However, there have been violent incidents. This violence has touched the sentiment of the relatives in both countries, affecting the relationship of the community of the frontiers.
There have been violence and incidents between the people of two frontiers, though they have maintained friendly relations. An example of such an incident could be cited as a case study of Indo-Nepal frontier inhabitants. The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (UCPN)-Maoist displayed posters in some spots in the Nepalese frontier of the border in the third week of January 2010. The posters had a painting showing leather boot planted on the Indian national flag. The Maoist poster sparked some disputes among the people of the border area. The relationship between frontier inhabitants soured following the anti-Indian sentiment created by the poster of the Maoist Party of Nepal.
The situation at the border became volatile after Indians demonstrated against the posters and demanded an apology from the Maoists of Nepal. Indians in Jogbani, a border town, staged a protest against Nepalese Maoists on 26 January 2010 for using the Indian flag in Maoist posters in a derogatory manner. The protesters demanded that Indian authorities take up the matter with the Nepalese government. However, the Maoists refuted the Indian national allegations against them, claiming that it was not their intention to disrespect the Indian flag, but tension was caused unknowingly due to carelessness during the painting of the poster.18
In an effort to reduce the tensions between the two nations, civil society leaders organized a programme of reconciliation between the two sides. Hundreds of Nepalese and Indians came to the border at Rupaidiya of India and Jamunaha Nepalganj of Nepal on 30 January 2010. They hoisted the national flags of both countries in the no-man’s land and sang the national anthems of both countries in respect of each other’s country. Participants stressed that all sorts of disputes, including those involving the border, should be resolved through negotiations at the government level. They emphasized the need to uphold the decades of friendly and cultural relations between their two countries. Nepalese and Indians exchanged roses and embraced each other in a bid for peace and harmony.19
In the same way, people living along another border point organized a goodwill rally at the Jogbani area on 6 February 2010. Hundreds of people participated in the rally. The Nepalese carried national flags and bouquets of flowers as a gesture of peace, friendship and goodwill. People living on both sides of the border gathered in the no-man’s land, shook hands, and exchanged bouquets of flowers. They chanted slogans saying “Long live Nepal-India relations.” In such a way, they not only renewed old friendships but also strengthened them.20
Another event was organized by the “Peace for Nepal and Nepal-India Journalists Joint Forum” at a crossing point of the Nepal-India border in Nepalganj-Rupaidiya on 2 October 2010 to celebrate the occasion of World Peace Day and the birthday anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. At that event, Nepalese and Indian nationals held toy guns as a symbolic gesture to protest against armed violence at the border. They later burnt the toy guns in the no-man’s land as a symbolic gesture against violence and terror in the frontier area.21
Effects of the Shifting Borders on Social Relationships
The inhabitants living in the borderland have been affected by the frequent shifting of borders. The border really matters to those living on it. For borderland communities, the power and violence, security and insecurity, connectivity and relationships, demonstrations and slogans are parts of the very fabric of daily life. For example, there were confrontations between the people of two frontiers in the border area at Tanakpur in January 2008. In other times, there are mutual understandings to maintain peace, tranquility and harmony through the organization of joint events for the integrated development of the border region. It has increased social relationships between the inhabitants of the two frontiers.
For a better understanding, people living in the Nepal-India border region should inspect the border areas, with the help of journalists, and try to solve the matter amicably at the local level. Nepalese parliamentarians have visited the border to familiarize themselves with border issues, especially with India. They have prepared and submitted reports to the government to take initiatives to resolve the outstanding cases.22
Voices of Borderland Communities
Boundary pillars and borders are equally important for both nations, and are the common property of both countries. If some of the border pillars are missing, it affects both sides. Voices have been raised from both frontiers when the borderline is blurred. Here is an example.
An incident took place between Nepal and Indian communities on 1 January 2008 at the Tanakpur border barrage embankment. Indian inhabitants came to Tanakpur barrage and they chanted slogans against Nepal for nearly half an hour. After that they entered into Nepalese territory at Brahmadev Bazar. Neither the Nepalese police nor Indian Special Security Bureau (SSB) personnel could obstruct them. There was a hot discussion between Nepalese and Indian groups on the disappearance of border pillar number 3. There was no trace of a no-man’s land either. It was submerged under water while constructing the barrage. These were the elements of the disputed border in connection to the construction of Tanakpur barrage by India. Nepalese people claimed that India had encroached into Nepalese territory while constructing the barrage. In response, Indian demonstrators pleaded that this was the area exchanged during the construction of the Sharada barrage during the period of British rule of India in the 1920s.
The conversation between the two groups reached a climax when Indian demonstrators threw stones at the Nepalese inhabitants. One of the Nepalese, named Gopal Singh Dhami got injured, and the Nepalese countered by throwing back stones. This incident took place for about fifteen minutes. Ultimately, security personnel from both countries defused the tension.23
Politics of Identity
Political leaders used border issues to draw the attention of the Nepalese people toward their party and to win general elections. It may be relevant to cite some examples. Top leaders of the United Communist Party of Nepal (UCPN)-Maoist, including Prachanda, Babu Ram, Mohan Kiran, Narayan Kaji, Ram Bahadur Badal and others inspected the Nepal-India border on 11 January 2010 to study border problems and to build awareness of national integrity and sovereignty. They inspected the encroached Nepalese land with a crowd and chanted slogans against Indian encroachment.24
The leaders made speeches in some pocket areas where there were border disputes, disagreements, claims and counter-claims. Maoist Chairman Prachanda said: “We want relations with India on equal terms. We don’t eye even an inch of Indian territory, nor will we concede an inch of ours. The struggle for national sovereignty will go on till the very last moment, until the encroached land is returned.” Maoist Second Vice-Chairman Mohan Baidya Kiran said that an endeavour to protect Nepalese territory should not be taken as a war against India. India should not irritate its small neighbour by encroaching on its land.25
In the same way, First Vice-Chairman Baburam Bhattarai remarked that all the treaties and agreements that Nepal and India have inked so far should be based on equality and those unequal treaties and agreements need to be abrogated right away. He alleged that the Indian side has encroached upon 1,400 hectares of land in Susta.
He further said, Nepal would continue both political and diplomatic efforts to return the encroached land.26 Similarly, Maoist Third Vice-Chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha expressed that India has trampled upon the sovereignty of Nepal by constructing the Laxmanpur barrage along the border, against international norms and practices.27
These are some of the expressions of the top brass of the Maoist political party of Nepal. This party has led the government and right now Dr. Baburam Bhattarai is the Prime Minister and Narayan Kaji Shrestha is the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs. But they have never put border issues on the agenda.
Whenever a political party is in opposition of the current party in power, they roar and draw the people’s attention toward Nepal’s southern neighbour. But when they get into power to rule the country, they keep their lips tight. They never mention that Nepal’s border has been encroached. This is a kind of irony of the political parties of Nepal.
Boundaries are related to the national integrity and sovereignty of a country. Encroachment of territory should be taken as a national issue. On the other hand border issues should not be raised if the border has not been violated. No one should blame a neighbour without concrete evidence. Nepalese political leaders have taken the border issue as an agenda of politics and identity for their parties while they are in opposition to the current party in power. They are silent when they get the reins of power and form a government. This shows the opportunism of the political parties of Nepal on national issues related to the border.
The Nepal-India Technical Level Joint Boundary Committee worked for 26 years and it was dissolved on 31 December 2007, having completed 97 percent of the demarcation work.28 In connection to the remaining 3 percent of unresolved issues, the matter has occasionally been raised during the visits of high-ranking dignitaries. During Indian External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna’s visit to Kathmandu on 15 January 2010, Nepal voiced its concern over border issues and the encroachment of Nepalese territory. In relation to this issue, the governments of Nepal and India reached an understanding to resolve border disputes and the controversy over the alleged encroachment of Nepalese soil through mutual understanding at the political level.29 In the same way, visiting Indian External Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters in Kathmandu on 25 November 2008, “We have agreed to resolve the long standing border disputes between the two countries at various places, including Kalapani and Susta through further discussions. Differences and divergence of view within the spectra of disputed areas are to be resolved and officers from both sides will be asked to meet and resolve this issue soon.”30 But the joint mechanism has not been formulated to solve this issue either at the technical or diplomatic or political level.
So far as the district level committee is concerned, the Chief District Officer (CDO) of Nepal and District Magistrate (DM) of India have a joint mechanism to discuss the problems to maintain the border. At joint meetings, they occasionally inspected the border area and the no-man’s land in person, recording missing pillars and determining if the no-man’s land had been encroached. But repair and maintenance have not materialized due to a lack of instruction by the central government.
Cross-border governance is essentially understood in relation to “de-bordering.” The dynamics of de-bordering give way to “re-bordering.” However, the nature of cross-border relations on the basis of mutual understanding is more useful for the people of both frontiers. The divergent issue may affect the governance of cross-border regions to the extent that functional changes at the borders bring into play divergent interests, which operate at different scales and in various temporalities. Such an examination also involves questioning the changing realities of borders by paying particular attention to the practices of “borderisation” and to its underlying logic.
The spatial re-composition affects social, economic and political relations within the cross-border regions whether in terms of territorial integrity or through the articulation of different geographical scales. Despite this fact, networks of actors play a determining role within the development of a multitude of cross-border institutional arrangements; work is done within the relational approach, which seeks a re-conceptualisation of the region as structured by a variety of flows and relations. In view of this, the question is not whether the territorial approach should be replaced by a relational approach, but rather how they can be combined in a way that goes beyond the inherent limits of uni-dimensional approaches.
The emergence of cross-border regions is favourable to such an enterprise: at the first step, territories should be well defined. The multiplicity of actors from grass-root levels to central governments involved in the decision-making process should favour a governance approach based on a system of negotiable political arrangements. Next, the presence of a national border cannot be relegated to the level of a simple remnant of a past territorial order as even when open it remains a significant limitation in terms of state territoriality. Ultimately, it is because the processes of de-bordering/re-bordering bring into play different spatialities of the border that a critical re-examination of our conceptual approaches is required.
It is unlikely that there will be a shifting of the northern border of Nepal with China, as the Himalayan Range has been demarcated as the boundary between the two countries. The border is supported through the natural environment. Regarding the mis-location of border marker number 57, on the Nepal-China borderline, there is a controversy between the two sides. The JTC has not settled this issue, though it represents only 6 hectares of Nepalese territory. This issue has been referred to higher authorities through diplomatic channels. But there has been no recent progress in terms of resolving this issue. However, it should be settled in the spirit of mutual understanding.
So far as the southern border of Nepal with India is concerned, there is no such natural environment to demarcate borders. So it is accessible for cross-holding occupations of agricultural land of the same topography and a single settlement bisected on both frontiers. If there is something else in such an environment, issues should be settled in accordance with historic maps and documents.
There must be a central level JTC to study the outstanding issues. The committee should discuss the major disputed issues and the findings should be presented with recommendations made to the respective governments. The heads of government must resolve the matter amicably in the spirit of friendship and mutual understanding. As far as the district level committee is concerned, they should work jointly to supervise and maintain the border, restricting the cross-holding occupation by the local people. Such mechanisms will help prevent a shifting of the border between Nepal and India. The government and the people of both the frontiers must respect each other in the spirit of brotherhood, friendship and good neighborliness.
*Buddhi N. Shrestha is the former Director General of the Government Survey Department and Managing Director of Bhumichitra Mapping, Kathmandu, Nepal. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Buddhi N. Shrestha, Border Management of Nepal (Bhumichitra Mapping Co, Kathmandu, 2003), 9.
2 Fannindra Nepal, Nepal: Tista to Sutlej (Kathmandu: Nepal Nationalistic Front, 1998), 224.
3 Bernardo Michael, The Tarai: A Part of Moghlan or Gorkha? Perspective from the Time of the Anglo-Gorkha War (1814-1816), Paper presented at the Conference ‘Nepal Tarai: Contest and Possibilities’ (Kathmandu, Nepal, March 2005): 2.
4 K.C. Surendra, Diplomatic History of Nepal (in Nepali) (Taplejung, Nepal: Sabina Publication 1989), 216-217.
5 Kamal Raj Singh Rathaur (ed.), History of Nepali Army (in Nepali), (Kathmandu: Army Headquarter, Bhadrakali, 2012), 36.
6 Ibid, 211-212.
7 Nepal-China Treaty and Agreement (Beijing, China, 2005), 33-36, 60-67.
8 Bhairab Risal, Patrika Weekly (in Nepali), 9-15 September 1999, 8.
9 Chitta Ranjan Nepali, Nepal-China Boundary Treaty (in Nepali), (Kathmandu, 1964), 69.
10 Grishma Bahadur Devkota, Political Mirror of Nepal (in Nepali) (Kathmandu: UB Devkota Publication, 1959), 190.
11 Buddhi N. Shrestha, Border Management of Nepal, 29.
12 Charles Umpherston Aitchison, A Collection of Treaties Vol. VIV (Calcutta, India, 1929), 65.
13 Amar Kaur Jasbir Singh, Himalayan Triangle: A Historical Survey of British India’s Relations with Tibet, Sikkim and Bhutan, 1765–1950 (London: The British Library, 1988), 177.
14 Aitchison, A Collection of Treaties, 48.
15 Michael, The Tarai, 8.
16 Gopal Siwakoti, Nepal-India and China Treaty (in Nepali), (Kathmandu: Madhuvan Publication, 2009), 486-487.
17 Buddhi N. Shrestha, Border War (In Nepali) (Kathmandu: Ratna Sagar Publication, 2013), 275.
18 The Hindu Daily, New Delhi, 27 January 2010.
19 Kantipur Daily, Kathmandu, 31 January 2010.
20 Republica Daily, Kathmandu, 7 February 2010.
21 Republica Daily, Kathmandu, 3 October 2010.
22 Study Report Concerning the Border Issues with India, Vol. I-IV (Kathmandu: Constitutional Assembly of International Relations and Human Rights Committee, 2010).
23 Naya Patrika Daily, Kathmandu, 2 January 2008.
24 Kantipur Daily, Kathmandu, 12 January 2010.
25 Kathmandu Post Daily, Kathmandu, 12 January 2010.
26 Himalayan Times Daily, Kathmandu, 12 January 2010. 27 Kantipur Daily, Kathmandu, 12 January 2010.
28 Himalayan Times Daily, Kathmandu, 21 December 2007.
29 Republica Daily, Kathmandu, 16 January 2010.
30 Himalayan Times Daily, Kathmandu, 26 November 2008.
Nepal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
Fifth Annual General Meeting
Fifth Annual General Meeting of Nepal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (NICS) was organized on 4 October 2013 at Survey Department (SD) Geodetic Hall. Members of NICS and other dignitaries, including Nagendra Jha- Director General of Survey Department, Rabin Kaji Sharma- Former Director General of Survey Department and President of Nepal Remote Sensing and Photogrammetric Society (NRSPS), Saroj Chalise- General Secretary of Nepal Surveyors Association (NSA), Kalyan Gopal Shrestha- Executive Director of Land Management Training Center (LMTC), Hridaya Narayan Mishra- Deputy Director General of SD and other Survey Department Officers were present at the function. The meeting was chaired by Buddhi Narayan Shrestha- President of NICS and Former Director General of Survey Department. Shambhu Gyawali- Executive Member of NICS conducted the program as master of ceremony.
At the beginning of the program, Punya Prasad Oli- Vice President of NICS and Former Director General of Survey Department welcomed all the members and invitees and participants on behalf of NICS and his own. He expressed, surveying and mapping are necessary for the design, implementation and execution of economic development projects in Nepal. Survey professionals have to maintain the standard of mapping according to the national specification.
Mahendra Sigdel- General Secretary of NICS presented the progress report of work done during the last year and program for the coming year. He explained the activities carried out by the NICS such as; it was conducted the seven weeks Real Estate Valuation Training Program in collaboration with the Purbanchal University for 23 participants. NICS has established a prize (with the support of Punya Prasad Oli) concerning the contest on the designing of specification of Digital Cadastre.
The NICS Executive authorities have discussed with the Governor of Nepal Rastra (Central) Bank, President of Bankers Association, Citizen Bank, Nepal Rastriya Banijya Bank concerning to provide the work of the property valuation to the NICS and its members. It was discussed that if the valuation work is provided to NICS, it should have been realistic valuation. As a result, the commercial banks should not bear losses while providing credit and loan to the housing companies and land developers, if the property would have been evaluated through the NICS. Governor of Rastra Bank and Bankers Association President assured that they will process for the enactment.
On the other hand many meetings have been conducted with the Director General and officials of Survey Department to make process to amend some of the Articles and sections of the Land (Survey & measurement) Regulations, 2058 to enact the work of Chartered Surveyors, also for the valuation of real estate property. He also informed that website of the Institution has been launched.
Rajendra Maratha- Treasurer of NICS and Former Chief Survey Officer of SD presented a report on the income and expenditure of the NICS. He summed up that the income was Rs. 369,400 and the expenditure was Rs. 332,000 and Rs. 37,000 was the saving during the last fiscal year. He informed that Rs. 25,000 have been saved from the real estate valuation training program. He also mentioned that International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) membership has been renewed on time transferring the annual membership fee. Rs. 6,000 has been provided as an advance for the creation of website of the Institution.
Buddhi Narayan Shrestha- President of NICS and Former Director General of Survey Department said the Chartered Surveyor License Holders must obtain to work amending the Articles 26 to 28 and 31 and some of its clauses of the Land (Survey & Measurement) Regulations, 2058. Chartered Surveyors have obtained the License from the Government Survey Department and they have deposited an amount of money and renewed their licenses year after year according to the Regulations. But they have not yet provided ‘Work Directory.’ It is requested to the Survey Department to issue the Directory as soon as possible.
The Regulation should be amended accommodating also the lower level Surveyors. For this, the Survey Licensing system should consist of three levels: 1) Chartered Surveyors, 2) Senior Surveyors and 3) Surveyors. Since Chartered Surveyor has been already established, who have completed Graduate Level Academic Qualification. And now, two more levels of Survey Licensing should be arranged for the Diploma Holders and Under Graduates, with an amendment of Land (Survey & measurement) Regulations, 2058. This will solve the bottleneck of Survey Licensing System in Nepal. On the other hand 37 other graduate level survey professionals have applied for the license. They should be provided licenses as per Regulations, completing the process of examination and certification by the ‘Survey Licensing Committee.’ It is worth mentioning that survey licensing system has been prevailed in Singapore, Malaysia and so many countries of the world.
Licensing system in Nepal in other disciplines is prevalent. This is not new in Nepal. Lawyers, Medical Doctors, Construction Engineers etc must obtain licenses to practice and perform their work. For example, medical doctors must obtain Registration Number compulsory from the Medical Council, whether they work for the government hospitals or private clinic. In Nepal, the first License was managed for Lawyers in 1956. At present they have three levels: Senior Advocate, Advocate and Agent (Abhikarta). Similarly, licensing system was started in medical field in 1979. With this perspective, it is deserving that all the Surveyors must hold License, whether they work in government sector or private consulting companies.
In fact, Survey Licensing system is necessary to enhance and develop the surveying and mapping activities in the country. In this modern age, all the works to be done for the development of nation by the government organization alone are not possible due to the volume of work. So the private sector should perform most of the works, and the government agencies must fix norms, standards and specification; and inspect and supervise the works done by the private consultants and contractors. If the work volume of private sector is increased, the significance and respect to the professionals will be enhanced. In mapping sector, we have also Nepal Surveyor Association, Nepal Remote Sensing and Photogrammetric Society, Nepal Geographical Information Society (NGIS) etc.
President Shrestha informed that International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) 25th World Congress is going to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 16 to 21 June 2014. The theme of the Congress is ‘Engaging the Challenges- Enhancing the Relevance.’ It’s the first time in Asia the FIG Congress is going to be organized in Kuala Lumpur. NICS is the Member Association from Nepal. SD is the Affiliate Member and LMTC is the Academic Member. Nepal, being an Asian country let us participate the Congress as many as possible from Nepal. Let us submit the working paper as well for presentation. The due date is 1 December 2013. I have already submitted the Abstract for the FIG Congress. World Congress of every one’s profession will be regarded also as ‘Pilgrimage.’ While attending such congresses, we can meet old friends and renew friendship; and make new friends. At the same time, we could acquire some more modern technologies, knowledge and information in our field. We can update our knowledge and know-how, so that we can apply in our country as well.
Shrestha also mentioned that FIG has invited bidding from Member Associations to host FIG Working Week-2017 and 2018. The due date is 30 November 2013 for WW-2017. Let us bid from Nepal to host the event. If we are successful in bidding, this will be a prestige of not only for NICS, but also Survey Department, Ministry of Land Reform & Management and the whole country. Shrestha requested Ganesh Prasad Bhatta, Chief Survey Officer and head of technical planning of SD, who was present in the program, to prepare a bid proposal document for WW-2017.
It is to be mentioned that Bhatta had also prepared this type of proposal last time to bid for FIG Working Week-2014. It was presented by Kalyan Gopal Shrestha- Executive Director of Land Management Training Center (LMTC) and Niraj Manandhar, Chief Survey Officer in Rome. But we obtained the second position, while it was voted. Let us hope, we will be successful this time to host the FIG WW in Nepal in 2017 in association with SD/Kathmandu University/MoLRM/NRSPS/NSA/LMTC.
In the program, Nagendra Jha- Director General of Survey Department said, a proposal has been already sent to the Ministry of Land Reform & Management for the amendment of Land (Survey & measurement) Regulations, 2058 to enact the license. It was discussed extensively and prepare an amendment in the concerning Article of the Regulation. It is expected to receive co-operation for this from all corners.
SD will always help to NICS to develop the survey profession. Those qualified Surveyors, who have applied for another lot of Survey Licenses, will be entertained. The process will be started soon. It is also necessary to brief the representatives of the Bankers and members of Bankers Association to explain the work of SD and NICS as well.
Jha further said right now, survey professionals, who are engaged especially on cadastral survey works, have been attacked and challenged by various elements. Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has eyed to the Cadastral Surveyors, who are working in the District Survey Offices. Recently, the CIAA has taken action against some Cadastral Surveyors. But it is not decided whether the Surveyors have done wrong. In this situation, all the survey professionals must explain the constraint and limitations of the cadastral survey work of by-gone days. It has to expose the real technical fact of the cadastral mapping which was done 45 years ago. It has been explained defensively in the MoLRM. However, it needs some louder voice from the Surveyors community.
Rabin Kaji Sharma- Former Director General of Survey Department and President of Nepal Remote Sensing and Photogrammetric Society wished all the success of this annual general meeting of the NICS. Future of NICS is bright to develop the activities of the survey professionals in Nepal. We have to make understandable of the importance of the Chartered Surveyors to other professionals. Let us hope that License Holder Chartered Surveyor will obtain to start to work in an efficient and effective manner very soon. NRSPS is ready to co-operate NICS to develop further the mapping and surveying activities in Nepal.
As an invitee, Saroj Chalise- General Secretary of Nepal Surveyors Association expressed the view of the Association that previously, it was not clearly defined on the Survey Licensing System. Now it is going to be clear on it. Let us sit down together once again and decide how to go to develop our profession and surveying and mapping activities in our country. We, the Surveyors are weak in collaborative idea. So let us go together.
If we all had obtained Survey Licenses, we could work also at morning and evening, after or before government working period. We could earn something more and we would be able to pay government taxes more and it would help to generate government revenue more. Now let us try to formulate Survey Council Act for the benefit of all grades of Surveyors. This will provide more validity in our profession and professional career. Nepal Surveyor Association is not far from NICS. Let us march together further ahead hand with hand.
Dr. Padma Raj Lamichhane, Executive Member of NICS thanked all who were present in the program and also who had provided moral support, on behalf of the Institution and his own. Survey Department Geodetic Survey Branch is thankful for providing meeting hall.
It is mentionable that an effort as struggle was made to make the ‘birth’ of the Chartered Surveyors in Nepal. It has shown the path of development. Initially, we were engaged in writing documents and forwarding it to the ministry through proper channel to obtain the License. This was a kind of professional interest in an integrated approach. As a result, we have received the Surveying License and we are the Government Registered License Holders, paying license fees with depositing some amount of money and renewing the license annually. We have Authoritative Certificate to work. But we are deprived of work officially due to lack of ‘Working Directory.’ However, it is hoped that the Regulations will be amended in due time; and Directory will be finalized to go to work by the License Holder Chartered Surveyors of Nepal within the umbrella of NICS.
At the end of the program, the reports presented by the General Secretary and Treasurer of NICS were passed with great applaud.
सरकारका निम्ति चुनौती र अवसरका रूपमा रहेको संविधानसभा निर्वाचनको मतदान हुने दिन नजिकै आइरहेको छ । अहिले मुलुकको कुनाकाप्चा पनि निर्वाचनमय भएको छ । उम्मेदवार र तिनका कार्यकर्ताले प्रचार-प्रसार उत्कर्षमा पुर्याउँदैछन् । अर्कोतर्फ निर्वाचन बिथोल्न उम्मेदवारमाथि भौतिक आक्रमण बढेको छ । प्रचार-प्रसार सामग्री लुटिने क्रम पनि फाट्टफुट्ट हुँदैछ । उम्मेदवार भएका शीर्ष नेताहरूले प्रचार-प्रसारका क्रममा निर्वाचन आयोगले तोकेको आचारसंहिताको मात्रा पनि विस्तारै मिच्दै आएका छन् । जति मतदानको दिन नजिकिँदैछ, त्यत्तिकै मात्रामा घरदैलोमा मत माग्ने क्रियाकलाप बढ्दै आएको छ । ठाउँ-ठाउँमा अवरोध गरिएका घटना पनि सञ्चारमाध्यममा आएका छन् । शीर्ष नेताहरू हेलिकप्टरमा पहाडी क्षेत्रमा हेलिंँदैछन् भने अर्कोतर्फ नेपाली सेनाका प्रधानसेनापतिले निर्वाचन मतदान समय कसरी सुदृढ गर्ने भनी हेलिकप्टर दौडाहा गरेका छन् । निर्वाचन आयोगले विशेष मतदान शिक्षा कार्यक्रम सञ्चालन गरेको छ भने मतदाता परिचयपत्र आफैले छपाइ गरी चुनावको निम्तासहित मतदाताको घरदैलोमा पुर्याउन लागेको छ । यसै क्रममा यस लेखोटमा भन्न खोजिएकोचाहिंँ मंसिर ४ गते मतदानका समय मतपत्रमा स्वस्तिक छाप लगाउने बेला जानी-नजानी आफ्नो मतलाई बदरभागी नबनाऔं । ठीक ठाउँमा ठीक तरिकाले मतपत्रमा छाप लगाऔं ।
यहाँ हामी मतदाता सतर्क हुनुपर्ने कुरा किन गर्न लागिएको हो भने अघिल्लो संविधानसभा निर्वाचनको प्रत्यक्ष र समानुपतिकतर्फ गरी साढे ९ लाखभन्दा बढी मतपत्र -प्रत्यक्षतर्फ ५.१५ र समानुपातिकतर्फ ३.६६ प्रतिशत) बदर भएको थियो । मतपत्र बदर हुनुको मतलब एकातिर जनताको निर्णय गर्ने अधिकार गुम्नु हो भने अर्काेतिर निर्वाचन जित्ने मान्छेले हार्न सक्छ ।
आखिर मतपत्र किन बदर हुन्छ ? यसमा केही असावधानीका कारणहरू हुनसक्छन् । यस्ता असावधानीका बुँदा दुर्गम पहाड तथा मैदानका पिछडिएका एवं महानगरवासी भए तापनि चेतनाका कमी भएका तथा जानकारीमूलक सूचना कमजोर रहेका मतदातालाई लक्षित गरी लेख्न लागिएको छ, जुनचाहिंँ निम्नानुसार हुनसक्छ ।
१) मतदानका समय मतपत्रको चुनाव चिन्हमा स्वस्तिक छाप लागाउँदा छापको मसी नसुक्दै मतपत्र पट्यार मतपेटिका -बाकस) मा खसाल्दा मसी लतपत भएर त्यो लतपतिएको मसी अर्को चुनाव चिन्हमा पनि पर्न सक्छ । यसरी दुई चुनाव चिन्हमा लगाएको मत स्वतः बदर हुन्छ । यसैले छाप लगाउने बित्तिकै हतार-हतार मतपत्र नपट्याऔं ।
२) हामीमध्ये कतिपय मतदाताले छाप लगाउनुअघि स्टाम्प प्याडको मसीको मात्रा याद गर्दैनौं । कहिलेकाहीं मसी धेरै भएको तथा सुख्खा अवस्थामा पनि हुनसक्छन् । मसी चोपिसकेपछि कुन चुनाव चिन्हमा छाप लगाउने भनेर चिन्ह खोज्दा-खोज्दै छापको मसी सुकिसकेको पनि हुनसक्छ । मसी नभएको छाप लगाएमा चुनाव चिन्ह रित्तो हुन्छ र मतदान नै नगरिएको अवस्थाको मतपत्र हुनपुग्छ ।
३) हामीमध्ये कुनै मतदाताले सुकेको मसीको छाप राम्रो देखिएन भनी दोहोर्याएर छापमाथि अर्को छाप हान्यौं भने त्यो ठीक ठाउँमा नपरी दिग्भ्रमित छाप हुनपुग्छ । परिणामतः त्यस्तो दोहोरो छापको मतपत्र बदरभागी हुनजान्छ ।
४) मसी धेरै भएको स्टाम्प प्याडमा छाप चोपेर मतपत्रमा जोडले छाप नबजारौं । यसरी छाप जोडले बजार्दा मसी उछिट्टएिर अर्को चुनाव चिन्हमा पुग्न सक्छ । अनि हामीले मतदान गरेको मतपत्र सदर हुँदैन ।
५) चुनाव चिन्ह घेरोको किनार पार गरी अर्को चुनाव चिन्हको केही भाग छुनेगरी छाप लगाउँदा पनि धेरै मतपत्र खेर जान पुग्ने हुन्छ । यस्तो भएमा विजयी हुने उम्मेदवारले पराजय भोग्नुपर्ने हुनजान्छ ।
६) अघिल्लो चुनावभन्दा हाल दोब्बर ठूलो मतपत्र -२० इन्च लामो १५ इन्च चौडा) भएकोले र १२२ दलले भाग लिइरहेका हुनाले राम्ररी हेर्दै नहेरी यही चिन्ह होला भनी स्वात्तै छाप लगाउँदा इच्छा गरेको उम्मेदवारको चिन्हसँग लगभग मेल खाने अर्कै उम्मेदवारमा पर्न सक्छ । त्यसलाई सच्याउन खोज्दा त्यो मतपत्र नै बदर हुनपुग्छ ।
७) कुन पार्टी अथवा कुन उम्मेदवारलाई मत दिने भन्ने कुरो मतदान गर्न लाइन बस्नु अगावै स्वयम् दृढनिश्चय गरौं । कुनै राजनीतिक पार्टीप्रति झुकाव नभएको तथा आफ्नो मनले खाएको उम्मेदवार नभएका मतदाता लाइनमा बस्दासम्म एउटा चिन्हमा छाप लगाउने विचार गछौर्ं, तर मतपत्र हात परेपछि अर्कैमा छाप लगाउने पनि हुनसक्छौं । मतदान गरेर घर पुगेपछि बेकार त्यस अमूक चिन्हमा छाप मारेछु भन्ने पछुतो पनि गछौर्ं । यस्तो पछुतोमा नपरौं ।
८) चुनाव तथा उम्मेदवारहरूप्रति असन्तुष्टि व्यक्त गर्न धेरै चिन्हका कोठाहरूमा भटाभट छाप मारी हामी मध्येका मतदाता हास्यपात्र नबनौं । हामीकहाँ ‘नेगेटिभ भोटिङ’को व्यवस्था छैन । उम्मेदवारहरूमध्ये कसैलाई पनि मनले खाएन भने ‘माथिका कुनै उम्मेदवारलाई होइन’ भन्ने कोठामा स्वस्तिक छाप ठोक्ने व्यवस्था हाम्रो देशमा छैन । आगामी निर्वाचनदेखि यस कुरामा निर्वाचन आयोग र सरकारले प्रबन्ध गरी असन्तोष मतको प्रतिशत बुभmने प्रबन्ध गर्नु समयानुकूल हुन्छ ।
अझै पनि एकथरी मतदाताहरू मंसिर ४ गते निर्वाचन हुँदैन भन्नेमा छन् । अर्काथरी निर्वाचन भएमा मतदान गर्न पहिलो प्रहरमै पुग्नुपर्छ, अपरान्हपछि के हुन्छ के हुँदैन भन्ने मनसायमा छन् । आजसम्म सरकार र निर्वाचन आयोग निर्वाचन हुन्छ भन्नेमै छन् । अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय संस्थातर्फबाट पनि २ सय २५ जना पर्यवेक्षक पर्यवेक्षणका लागि खटिइसकेका छन् । एमाओवादी अध्यक्षले बीमाओवादीलाई चुनावी प्रक्रियामा सहयोगका लागि आग्रह गर्दै उहाँहरूको मोर्चालाई मन्त्रिपरिषदबाट मनोनीत गरिने २६ सिट लगायत अन्य सहुलियत दिन सकिने प्रस्ताव कात्तिक १५ गते पोखराको कार्यक्रममा भनेका छन् ।
यसैगरी पूर्वप्रधानमन्त्री शेरबहादुर देउवाले नेकपा-माओवादीसहितका दललाई निर्वाचनपछि संविधान संशोधन गरेर संविधानसभामा सहभागी गराउने विकल्प खुला रहेको कुरा डडेलधुरामा कात्तिक १० गते बताएका छन् । कतिपय राजनीतिक नेताहरूले बीमाओवादी नेताहरूसँग अनौपचारिक कुराकानी गर्दा आफूहरूको बहिष्कार कार्यक्रम शान्तिपूर्ण हुने बताउँदै आएका छन् । यद्यपि कतिपय स्थानमा चुनावी गाडी जलाउने र उम्मेदवारलाई धाकधम्की दिने कुरो भएरै आइरहेको छ ।
यसैबीच संयुक्त राष्ट्रसंघका आवासीय समन्वयकर्ता जिमी म्याकगोल्डरिकले कात्तिक १६ गते नेकपा-माओवादी कार्यालय पुगी मंसिर ४ को संविधानसभा चुनावलाई अवरोध नपुर्याउन आग्रह गर्दै ‘तपाईंहरूले गर्ने बहिष्कार शान्तिपूर्ण होस्’ भने । जवाफमा उपाध्यक्ष एवं विदेश विभाग प्रमुखले ‘दलहरूले आचासंहिता पालन गरुन्, हाम्रा कार्यक्रम शान्तिपूर्ण हुनेछ’ भन्ने कुरा बताएका छन् ।
यी कुराहरू आफ्नै ठाउँमा छन् । मुख्य कुरो मतदान समयमा मतदाताले मतपत्रमा बेठीक तरिकाले स्वस्तिक छाप लगाई आफ्नो मत बदरभागी नबनाऔं । एउटै मतले पनि पराजय हुनुपर्ने उम्मेदवार विजयी हुनसक्छन् भन्नेतर्फ ध्यान दिऔं । उदाहरणार्थ, अघिल्लो संविधानसभाको चुनावमा पर्सा-२ बाट मधेसी जनअधिकार फोरम नेपालका उम्मेदवार शशीकपुर मियाँ कांग्रेसको अजव द्विवेदीसँग १ हजार ५ सय १० मतले पराजित भए । मियाँको ३ हजार १ सय मतपत्र स्वस्तिक छापको सट्टा ल्याप्चे लगाएकोले बदर भएको थियो ।
हाम्रो एक भोटको पनि ठूलो महत्त्व छ । फुटबलको खेलमा आत्मघाती गोल गर्ने खेलाडी आफूमात्रै हार्दैन, तर एघारजना खेलाडी नै हार्न पुग्छन् । यसबाट सिङ्गो टिमको नाममा समेत प्रतिकूल असर पुग्छ । यद्यपि उसले बल बचाउन खोज्दा-खोज्दै आत्मघाती गोल हुनपुगेको हुन्छ । यसैले आत्मघाती खेलाडीजस्तै हामी आफू आत्मघाती मतदाता नबनौं । विजय हुनुपर्ने उ्रम्मेदवारलाई हरूवा नबनाऔं । मुलुकको विकासलाई पछाडि धकेल्ने मतदाता नहोऔं । आफूले रोजेको चुनाव चिन्हमा सतर्कतासाथ स्वस्तिक छाप लगाऔं । हतार-पतारमा आफ्नो मत बदरभागी नबनाऔंं ।
प्रकाशित मिति: २०७० कार्तिक २१ ०९:०६
– बुद्धिनारायण श्रेष्ठ
आउँदो मंसिर ४ गते संविधानसभाको दोसो निर्वाचन हुन लागिरहेको छ । निर्वाचन सफल पार्नका लागि शान्ति सुरक्षा, अमनचैनको ठूलो भूमिका रहेको हुन्छ । मतदाताहरू मतदानका लागि लाइनमा बसिरहेका समय बमगोला पड्किए त के कुरा, एउटा ठूलो आवाजको पटाकामात्र पड्किए पनि भागदौड मच्चिन्छ । त्यसैले यस्ता अवाञ्छित क्रियाकलापलाई संवेदनशील तत्त्वका रूपमा लिनुपर्छ । यस्ता तत्त्व मतदान हुने दिनअगावै नियन्त्रण भइसकेको हुनुपर्छ । अनिमात्र निर्वाचन प्रक्रिया सफलतासाथ सम्पन्न हुन्छ ।
This is the occasion of victory over evilness by truthfulness
May Durga Bhawani empower us, mentally and physically, to protect and preserve our endangered sovereignty, integrity and national boundary of Nepal. Our nationalism is going to be thinner and thinner day by day. Our freedom is degrading. External interference has been accelerated with a high degree and the political/administrative pressure is increasing tremendously from beyond the border. It has adversely affected the execution of national policy of our sovereign nation, independently. In this perspective, the situation is going to be grave month after month, year after year. We must be very careful to save and protect our nation.
Nepal’s Nationalism is Growing Thinner :
An Interaction Program
Buddhi Narayan Shrestha made a presentation in an interaction program in Pokhara on the topic ‘Border Issues of Nepal related to the Question of Current Nationalism’ on 11 September 2013. He had prepared a working paper as requested by ‘Committee for the Protection of Natural Heritage & Human Rights Nepal.’ With a short background and sub-headings, the main points of his written presentation were- national, nationality, nationalism, nationalistic force, elements of a nation, nationalism is growing thinner, reason of such situation going on, questions of national sovereignty, ideological disintegration, physical disintegration, conclusion and remarks as the last point. The program was conducted for nearly four hours with the questions, answers, comments and highlights.
During his deliberation Buddhi Narayan Shrestha said, Nepal nationalism is going to be thinner and thinner day by day due to the declining capability of our government authorities. The other factors of down trend of our national strength is the unstable politics, frequently changing government, not being an elected government, egoism-pride-disagreeing of political leaders, no trust and faith on each other leaders etc. There are foreign interventions in the nationalism of Nepal. It is a question mark on the sovereignty as well. Our decision makers, political leaders and head of the government smell the foreign force and their vested interest even to make a minor decision. They don’t pay attention on the interest of the general people and civic society of Nepal in the matter of national development plan, policy and diplomacy of Nepal. But the authorities hear attentively with their erected ears; what the neighboring countries are expressing and preaching on Nepal.
There was indirect intervention by neighbours till some years ago. But there are direct interventions from the neighboring countries in these days, in the matter of formation of government, appointment of ministers and head of constitutional bodies, and even to the promotion, posting and transfer of joint secretary level posts of the ministries, departments, corporations and organizations. This is very alarming in the matter of sovereignty, integrity and independency of Nepal and Nepali people.
Shrestha, during his long presentation cited so many burning examples on those matters related to the formation of government headed by incumbent Supreme Court Chief Justice, appointment of the Chief of Commission of Investigation of Abuse of Authority, Chief Secretary, Chief of Army Staff etc have been interfered by our neighbors.
Our national borders have been encroached and shrunk. This is due to the political instability, our weakness, weak government that waits signals from neighboring countries; to make decision even to a trifle matter. There are encroachments, disputes, conflicts, debates, cross-holding occupations, claims and counter-claims in 71 spots and places along 1,880 kilometer of Nepal-India border line. 26 districts of Nepal have been adjoined with the Indian border. Among them there are border issues in 23 districts (except Dhanusha, Dadeldhura and Baitadi). The total area of such areas have been enumerated and calculated as 606.62 square kilometer in various spots and patches. The largest chunk is 370 sq km of Kalapani-Limpiyadhura encroachment at Darchula district, 145 sq km of Susta area of Nawalparasi district and the smallest one is 240 square meter (half a Ropani only), located at Phatak of Pashupatinagar VDC-8 of Ilam district. Majority of the issues have been as the cross-holding occupations on agricultural land and the other reason is wash away of the border pillars due to the frequent changes of river course during monsoon season.
Regarding Nepal-China boundary, there is a conflict and disagreement on 6 hectares of land near Lapchegaun of Lamabagar area of Dolakha district for the last six years. This matter has been taken to seek a way out by Nepal-China Joint Boundary Committee.
So far as the border management is concerned, Nepal-India has an open border regime. But it has created several problems on both the countries due to infiltration of unwanted people through the porous international border. Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Afghani, Iranian, cross the international border easily in the disguise of Indian nationals; as their face, attire, language, habits are as similar to Indians. In the same way, Myanmarian (Burmese) and Bhutanese cross the border as Nepali citizens. Criminals commit crime in one frontier and they cross the international border without any interrogation and they hide on the other side of the border. Smuggling of fake Indian currency notes to India, narcotic drugs, trafficking of girls and women, abduction of individuals and children are due to make the border open for the Nepalese and Indians.
Regarding the northern border of Nepal with China, it has the regulated border management system. However, there are smugglings of small arms, gun-powder, electronic goods and materials from China (Tibet) to Nepal. Red sandalwood, yarsagamba, herbs, timber and bones of tigers and elephants etc are sent from Nepal to China illegally.
Concerning our border encroachment and disputes, I don’t blame our neighbors. Nepal border is our national property. We have to be vigilant on it. Our borders have been encroached due to my weakness, my friend’s negligence, carelessness of Nepali society, lethargy of our government. We have to be aware and alert to save our borders. Let us be attentive, not to let our territory be encroached by our neighbors. We don’t have to blame the neighbors. If it happens something else on our borders, we have to protest there and then and claim instantly. The Nepalese must protect Nepal’s international boundary ourselves. Neither Americans, nor British or Russians come to protect our boundaries. Because this is our national border and it is related to our nationality and sovereignty. If our border shrinks even an area of a single square kilometer, the Nepali citizens of that area will be converted into alien. If the rate of shrinkage of territory accelerates year after year, it will come one day that existence of Nepal as a State will be end. And Map of Nepal will be disappeared on the Map of the World. This is a very sensitive matter for the existence of the people of Nepal.
During the presentation Shrestha said, even the Nepalese intellectuals, human rights activists, civil society people are going to be divided into Southerner (Dakchhinpanthi), Northerner (Uttarpanthi) and westerner (Paschimpanthi). But it is going to be very few Nepali to be nationalistic (Rastrapanthi). Some of us make our mouth sweetened talking on the matter of India, and some others make their lips juicy turning to the China.
At the end of presentation Shrestha said we, the Nepali people must be aware and very sensitive on all these matters. We have to protect our Nepal as a sovereign nation. We have to create pressure from several corners to our political leaders, our government and national level decision makers.
In the present context, forthcoming election of Constitutional Assembly must be free, impartial, unbiased, unprejudiced and fraud less. A strengthful government must be formed with the result of the election, and according to the mandate of the general people, who could protect and preserve the nationality of Nepal and sovereignty of people. A powerful and stable government is needed to speak the dialect of general people. The government should be fully independent to raise the voice of Nepali people in the international arena. Ultimately, Nepal needs a capable government to generate employment for the young people within the territory of Nepal to increase the income and purchasing power of Nepali people and to expand Nepali economy. This will strengthen the capability of Nepal.
Shrestha made a very crucial and serious concluding remark off-hand (without written words) that if we make a study of incidents, happenings, political turnovers, changes in diplomacy and national strategy of Nepal; and various statements made by the high ranking dignitaries of the neighboring country from 1950 to this date, it has to come into conclusion that there will be ‘No Nepal’ by 2030 AD.
It is very serious and alarming for the Nepali people. Shrestha cited various examples starting from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s letter (7 November 1950) to Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, to the statements of Nepal’s incumbent Prime Minister’s statement.
Sardar Patel writes in his letter (9.e-f) ‘The political and administrative steps which we should take to strengthen our northern and north-eastern frontiers would include the whole of the border i. e. Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Darjeeling and the Tribal Territory in Assam.’ In relation to this sentence, incumbent Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai admitted on 3 August 2012 that ‘The key happens to be somewhere else’ referring to the growing interference from the neighboring and international powers in the peace process, drafting of a constitution, federalism, foreign relations and administrative appointments (Kantipur Daily, 4 August 2012). Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai claimed on 15 January 2012 ‘There is no relevance to the theory of Nepal as a lifeless buffer zone between India and China. If Nepal is not transformed into a vibrant and a dynamic bridge between India and China, there looms the threat of either merging with India or China (Nagarik Daily, 16 January 2012).
All these statements and saying intend that we the Nepali people ourselves, our parliament with overwhelming majority and our government will formally hand over Nepal to India by 2030 AD. It may need three more general elections to ripe the surrendering /submitting process. It will be as the similar case of Sikkim which was amalgamated to India on16 May 1975. During the annexation of Nepal to India by 2030, present territory of Nepal i.e. east of Dudh+Koshi River will be merged into Sikkim, west of Karnali River may be affiliated to Uttarakhanda, River Koshi to Narayani lowland area shall be incorporated to Bihar, and Narayani to Karnali River low lying area will be absorbed to Uttar Pradesh; and name of this State will be changed into Gautam Buddha Pradesh. Rest of the northern mountainous portion will be formed as a new and additional State as 29th State of India, named as ‘Everest State.’
There will be a question, may China be silent if the government of Nepal intends to surrender herself to be annexed to India ? The answer is very short and simple, as an example of Sikkim. It is interesting to remember that China has formally buried its decades-old disputes on New Delhi’s claim over the former British protectorate of Sikkim, while India reiterated Beijing’s sovereign right over Tibet (Agencies/chinadaily.com.cn, Updated: 2005-04-12, 13:28) during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited New Delhi on 11 April 2005 in connection to sign on twelve Protocols and Agreements by visiting Chinese Premier and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other related high ranking officials of both countries.
In such a fashion China endorsed that Sikkim belongs to India. In the same way, India reiterated that Tibet is an integral part and parcel of China. In the newly emerging case of Nepal, it cannot be said that Sikkim case may not be applied by both China and India.
Here is another supporting incident. During the visit of Chinese PM Wen Jiabao to New Delhi, he presented a map to his counterpart Manmohan Singh. This map was published as the Third Edition in 2004 in China. On that map, Sikkim was demarcated within the territory as the 28th State of India. But it was the real fact that Sikkim was drawn as an independent and sovereign nation till the publication of Second Edition of that very map.
It is interesting to note that Prime Minister Manmohan Sing read the description of that map and it was given to Shyam Sharan (Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs), who was sitting behind him. Shyam Sharan managed to make photocopies of that map instantly and it was distributed to the media persons, who were presented over there on 11 April 2005 (Kantipur Daily, 12 April 2005). This example may show, China may be mum (?) if their national interest is fulfilled in the case of her neighbors. Because Nepal-China diplomacy has been turned into a little bit up and down (left and right) since the last three decades due to negligence and idleness of Nepal. However, there may be played a different game (scenario), if the international forces eye sharply on Nepal, India and China.
Buddhi Narayan Shrestha ultimately opined and prayed- may this version or thinking not come into reality. May it be a false statement or untrue logic. To make this statement and saying false, untrue and undeserving; all the Nepali people must come into front unitedly (mentally and physically) from right now to protect and preserve the endangered sovereignty and national integrity of Nepal; not to let the foreign and neighbor’s intervention in the sphere of our nationalism, sovereignty and integrity of territory. We don’t have to be disheartened and discouraged. But we have to remember the actions and activities of our historic bold, brave and courageous ancestors. We need a sincere and dedicated government for the protection of our nationalism and sovereignty.
After the presentation, there were many questions, queries and highlights. Some of the participants opined, it is not necessary to be discouraged on the matter of sovereignty.
The paper presented by Shrestha was commented by two noted commentators. Commenting on the paper, Prof. Dr. Krishna KC said, the encroachment and disputes on our territory is still going on. We have to conduct various awareness programs like this, as organized by ‘Committee for the Protection of Natural Heritage & Human Rights Nepal.’ He further made a comment that the encroached frontier will be returned back, if all the Nepali people go ahead on the path as shown by Buddhi Narayan Shrestha. Only Shrestha is not sufficient for the protection of our national boundaries. Sovereignty and self-respect of Nepal have been disheartened time to time after the treaty of Sugauli- 1816. Our border problems must be resolved with an integrated approach in effective effort and meaningful attempt.
Similarly, Lawyer Tilak Parajuli commented on the paper that the border issue should be resolved amicably. If the problems are not solved in a friendly manner, Nepal should seek international help and could go to the International Court of Justice. Our border has been encroached due to unstable political environment, foreign intervention; and government authorities are not firm and determined on this matter.
After the comments, questions and answer, Buddhi Narayan Shrestha was felicitated by Western Regional Administrator Lok Darshan Regmi, on behalf of ‘Committee for the Protection of Natural Heritage & human Rights Nepal’ by presenting a ‘Letter of Felicitation’ on a wooden carved plaque. It was presented to Shrestha in recognition of the contribution made by him by presenting a working paper, coming from Kathmandu.
Before presenting the plaque, Shrestha was welcomed with garland by Prof. Dr. Bhawani Prasad Panday, President of the Committee.
As the Chief Guest of the program, Western Regional Administrator Lok Darshan Regmi said, I feel pain in my mind hearing on the matter of border encroachment and dispute. But it has not reached on the stage of despair and dejection. The land of Susta area of Nawalparasi district, under my administrative region, has been encroached. But we are not able to do something else due to lack of firm policy of the State.
He further said, the government administrative machinery has installed four CCTV Cameras in four different places as electronic check-posts, in connection to the security system. Such mechanism will be introduced and implemented in additional places, including Nawalparasi district. It will help to control the border encroachment and it helps to stop the cross-border drug trafficking and illegally carrying of goods and materials from Nepal to India and vice versa.
He committed to make an opportune, as far as possible, to stop various incidents on the border region, including border encroachments. At the last he said, he was happy to felicitate an eminent border expert Buddhi Narayan Shrestha on behalf of ‘Committee for the Protection of Natural Heritage & Human Rights Nepal.’ He wished all the best to Shrestha to continue his efforts for the protection of sovereignty and integrity of Nepal.
Prof. Dr. Bhawani Prasad Panday, President of ‘Committee for the Protection of Natural Heritage & Human Rights Nepal’ had chaired the program.
The program was anchored by Ram Bahadur Paudel, General Secretary of the ‘Committee for the Protection of Natural Heritage & Human Rights Nepal.’
He mentioned the purpose of organizing this interaction program, that is to create awareness and to provide factual information to the civic society and general people. Our nation at the moment is going to be in a crucial danger. We have to save our nation as preserved and protected by our forefathers and ancestors.
Source: Pokhara Aawaz Daily, Himadoot Daily, Hot Line Daily, Aadarsha Samaj Daily, Samadhan Daily etc, 12 September 2013.