Border dispute and it’s Solution
Collective Campaign for Peace (COCAP), Central Regional Secretariat and Campaign for Change Nepal (CCN) jointly organized a half day discussion cum interaction program on, “Border Dispute and it’s solution” on 14th June, 2009 on the premise of CCN meeting hall, Buddhanagar. Altogether 21 participants including the border expert, members of Constituent Assembly, representatives of networks, federations, youth organizations intensively participated on the program. (the name list of the participants is in annex). The program was organized to make the concept clear about the border and its’ dispute.
The program was commenced with short introduction of the participants. Yagya Aryal, Secretary of Central Regional Secretariat and President of CCN by facilitating the session, shared the objectives of the program As a resource person, Buddhi Narayan Shrestha shared about the border and it’s technical aspect, how it became the matter of debate and how we can fortify the border? According to Shrestha, “Border is an extremely sensitive, because if a small portion of land is encroached, the people residing in that area would have to belong to another nation.” If this process continues and the border is encroached in huge mass, there is the great question of existence of the nation. The territory of Nepal is not same; time and again it was changed. During 1806, the territory of Nepal is stretched towards Killa and Kangada later Nepal lost that land. The present territory of Nepal is set by the Sugauli Treaty of 4th March, 1816. In Shrestha’s words, the territory of border is encroached due to the unavailability of clear roadmap and historical documents, setting the border based on the river, the so-called superiority of neighboring country, and negligence of neighboring country to follow the international territory. The debate of border encroachment got high attention as India encroach the border time and again. Different places including Pyaratal/Parasan of Kanchanpur, Lalbhungi/Bhajani of Kailali, Kalapani, Sutsta, Pashupatinagar of Ilam and Lakauhi of Sunsari et al are became the issue of hot debate of border encroachment. In total there is 1800 km long border line sets the border of Nepal and India where 26 districts directly touched the Indian border and amongst 26 districts there is debate on 54 places in 21 districts. In total, there was hot debate on 60,000 hectares of land. The border dispute is continues from the time of Anglo war period. The recent case of Dang is not novel, since it became the matter of debate from the history.
Mr. Shrestha also mentioned about the recommendations to solve the dispute of border;
- Diplomatic initiative from government level.
- Scientific measurement of the territory based on Global Positioning System (GPS).
- Developing the appropriate strategy and proper implementation of that.
- Empowering and making aware the people residing in the border areas.
- Pressurizing the government by the people to implement the agreements and treaties.
- Neutral committee formation including the border experts from the both of the nation and diplomats.
Dilli Rawat, representative of Civil Society and member of Federation of Nepalese Journalists, Dang also shared his views about the border encroachment occurred in Dang district. The pillars kept in the border are in ruined condition. The case of Dang is related with stone, forest and wild animals. The people of the border belongs to Nepal has to depend on India and vice versa. The stones and forest resources are using by the Indian people. To protect the territory, the government has to kept special security force over there in the border.
Rabindra Adhikari, CA member and member of the National Interest Preservation Committee formed for drafting the new constitution also shared his views on the program. Regarding Nepal and India there are three kinds of border; close border, controlled border and open border. He agreed on the fact that, the border of India and Nepal frequently became the matter of debate, thus he shared few recommendations to improve the situation.
- Regular depart to measure the border time to time.
- Monitoring from the level of diplomats.
- Establishment of security force in the border area.
- Strictly elimination of residing in the no man’s lane areas.
- Provision of identity card in border areas.
- Improve awareness of the residuals in border areas.
- Self-empowerment of the residual of border areas.
- Mobilization of local bodies to protect the land.
- Wider consensus amongst the political parties and elimination of political motivation on common national agendas.
- Cross security by both countries in border area.
Similarly, Dama Kumari Sharma, CA member from the constituency of Dang representing United CPN Maoist also shared her views on the program. The border disputes of Nepal and India not a new one. Every year Nepalese people have to face several problems in the boarder areas caused by the Indians. She proclaimed that, her party is strongly raising the voice of border as they are in the government and also away from the government. She also puts few recommendations to eliminate the border dispute.
- State should be accountable on addressing the problems caused by border.
- Scientific measurement of territory before drafting the constitution.
- Provision of identity card for the residuals of border areas.
- Rehabilitation of the displaced people due to the border dispute.
- Elimination of trend of open border.
- Pressurizing the government vis-à-vis Indian government from the level of people.
Manoj Pandeet, Film Maker and the Director of Greater Nepal also put his views on the program. By agreeing on the fact of border encroachment he felt happy on making debate and interaction on the issue of border because it is not became the matter of discussion. He also put his recommendations for eradicating border dispute;
- Determining an exact territory before drafting the constitution otherwise there is no space to promulgate the constitution.
- Concluding the culture of showing guilt and lamenting for the past but to develop future strategies to secure our territory.
- Scientific demarcation of territory.
- Triangular coordination amongst India, Britain and Nepal to eliminate border dispute.
- Updating information of border.
Bharati Pathak, Treasurer FECOFUN, also shared her ideas on the program. The dispute of border is related with water, land and forest (jal, jamin ra jungle). The forest should not be deforested in the name of resettling the people. There should be short term and long term plan to eliminate the challenges of border. The civil society has to provide pressure from the local to the national level and the natural resource must become the political agendas. Similarly there is an essentiality of common consensus amongst the political parties and the updated information of border also plays vital role.
Since the program was interactive, the participants shared their queries and views on the program. The participants got knowledge of technical aspect of the territory. An encroachment of territory must touch the people and the participants show their commitment to develop that environment. There should be the provision of citizenship as well the lobbying with diplomats and international communities equally plays the vital role. In the same manner, the participants mentioned that, if the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is used in border security that would be more better and relates with the peace process. Civil Society has to pressurize the concern stakeholders by making their common voices. The program commenced at 2.30 and concluded at 5.15 pm and facilitated by Yagya Aryal. He thanked all the participants for their valuable participation and hope for building collective effort on coming days.
Major outputs of the program
- Increased understanding about the border and it’s technical aspects.
- Identified basic approaches for determining the territory of the nation.
- Developed common consolidation amongst the stakeholders including the policy makers to eliminate the border dispute in scientific way.
- Developed coordination in-between the stakeholders functioning in different areas.
- Augmented coordination in between member organization and regional secretariat.
Border, one of the sensitive issues in context of Nepal is becoming the matter of huge debate time and again. The territory of Nepal encroached and the people residing in the border areas are facing the problems of displacement, raping, abduction, fear, terror, threatening and many more. But, the government is being quite lethargic and not listening the voices of the victims. The political parties are using this agenda merely as a political too. In this context, there must be a common consensus not only between the political parties, but also the civil society has to raise the voice. The program organized to develop basic idea on border became fruitful as the stakeholders participated on the program showed their great enthusiasm. The materialization of the programme depends on the upcoming efforts taken by the stakeholders and the common consensus amongst the political parties acknowledging it as a common agenda of nation.
Name list of the participants
||Rabindra Adhikari||CPN-UML||CA Member|
||Bishnu Bdr. Khatri||Youth Action Nepal||Executive Director|
||Buddhi Narayan Shrestha||Border expert|
||Dev Raj Bishokarma||Journalist, Dang|
||Dilli Bahadur Rawat||Civil Society, Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ)||Member|
||Dama Kumari Sharma||U CPN Maoist||CA Member|
||Umesh Singh Tharu||CCN||Office Assistant|
||Prabhat Kiran Koirala||Journalist|
||Arjun Bhattarai||NGO Federation of Nepal||Central member|
||Madhab Bastakoti||COCAP||Program Manager|
||Laxmi Niraula||AYON||Program Coordinator|
||Rudra Prd. Bastola|
||Sahek BK||Dalit Activist|
||Shyam Adhikari||COCAP||Regional Program Officer|
||Manoj Pandit||Film-maker||Greater Nepal|
||Purna Gandhari||COCAP||Office Assistant|
||Deepak Kumar Bhattarai||COCAP||President|
||Pokhraj Shrestha||CCN||Program Coordinator|
Photos of the program
(Buddi Naryan Shrestha, Border Expert sharing his view in the program)
(Dilli Rawat, member of civil society Dang putting his views in the program)
(Rabindra Adhikari, CA member and the member of National Interest Preservation Committee, sharing his views)
(Dama Sharma, CA member in left and Bharati Pathak, Treasurer FECOFUN in the program)
(Manoj Pandee(in red T-shirt), Film Maker sharing his views)
(Participants mentioning their queries in the program)
(Yagya Aryal, facilitating the program)
(Participants of the program)
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