Nepal-China: Case study of Shifting border

Nepal-China: Case study of Shifting border

 

Two Hands-up

 

Buddhi N Shrestha

Former DG, Survey Department/ Border expert, Nepal

 

On the north of Nepal lies the territory of China. Nepal had relations with the TAR of China since thousands of years, before unification of Nepal. Although the relation between Nepal and Tibet goes back to historical times there were of course antagonisms and aggressions. But those hostilities were basically for trade, economic and monetary reasons. Attacks and counterattacks on each other’s territory had made some changes in the boundary line. During those wars the Gorkhali troops had expanded their territory inside Tibet near to 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 on the northeast of Kathmandu to talk to the Tibetans. The representatives of the two countries felt a need for an agreement. Then a trade agreement was signed between Nepal and Tibet at Khasa on 5 September 1775. This trade agreement is known as Khasa Agreement. The agreement also made a provision to let the previous border to remain as it was. The treaty felt the need to strengthen the borderline between the two countries.

 

During regency of Bahadur Shah, he sent a protest letter to the Tibet government expressing dissatisfaction with them for not complying fully with the terms and conditions of the trade treaty. In its reply the Tibetan government instead, made several accusations against Nepal. In the meantime, Tibet worked for attack on the pretext on Nepal that it gave asylum to Shyamarpa Lama who had fled from Tibet and had entered Nepal. So the environment was not congenial between two countries.

 

In the summer of 1788 AD, 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 borderline northward and also pushed up to Sigatsche (Tashilhunpo) which is located on the south-west of Lhasa. But the Tibetans proposed for 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, mediated by the Chinese representatives. This agreement is known as Kerung agreement. The agreement contracted Nepal’s territory, which had reached to Tashilhunpo during 1788.

 

In course of time, Tibet informed that the Kerung Treaty 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 make attack again; so they started preparing for war. Nepal became suspicious. All these initiated Nepal to start another war with Tibet.

Then Nepal sent its forces from two sides to attack on Tibet on 6 August 1791. The force pushed northeast and seceded further eastward and captured Digarcha, the capital of Tashi Lama. In this way Nepal’s border expanded to Sigatsche and Tashilhunpo.

 

In such a situation, Tibet asked China for military help. The Chinese force arrived in Lhasa to help the Tibetans. The Chinese force 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, 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 casualty. They were weary and tired of the war. So 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 and the war ended. This agreement is known as or Nepal-Tibet Treaty (Betrawoti Treaty) of 1792.

 

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. So this was a kind of shifting border of Nepal during the era of late 1800.

 

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 had given the pastureland south of Khasa on annual contract to Tibet for grazing their cattle. 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 intention, 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 their nuisance, 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 the tax by Nepalese themselves. Tibetans did not accept Nepal’s claim that they had encroached upon Nepalese territory and had shifted the borderline. But Nepal was not satisfied. As a result, it worked as a background for yet another war between Nepal and Tibet.

 

In the mean time Nepal asked Tibet to return Kerung and Kuti areas which were previously under Nepal’s control; and also to hand over the Taklakot area in the north of Darchula along the route to lake Man Sarovar. The Tibet government responded, but did not mention anything about the demand raised by Nepal. Failing to get a clear reply, Nepal formally announced war against Tibet on 6 March 1855. Under the plan, Nepalese troops attacked Tibet from North, West and Far West. The troop pushed to the north and captured Kerung, Digree, and Jhungagadhi areas. The Nepali force that had pushed to northeast captured Khasa and Kuti on the north of Sindhupalchowk on 3 April 1855 and pushed further north to Sunagampa and remained there.

 

The Nepalese had remained for 8 months defending the newly conquered territories. But a combined force of the Tibetans and Chinese made a surprise attack at Kuti on the night of 5 November 1855. The Nepalese were defeated. In the mean time commander of the Nepali force that had withdrawn from Kuti asked for additional troops from Kathmandu, and the reinvigorated Nepalese troops attacked Kuti from three sides. Then Kuti was restored again within the Nepalese territory.

When the Nepalese troops gained success in all sectors, the Tibetans proposed peace talks at the border. Finally, both sides agreed to resume the peace talks, and the negotiation was 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. This treaty is also called as Thapathali Treaty. This contracted Nepal border with Bhairablangur Himal and Nepal’s border was fixed at Tatopani, which is also the present border of Nepal.

 

In this way, by the time of Thapathali Treaty, Nepal’s northern border had expanded and contracted to and from Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) of China and finally it was shifted to the Himalayan range. At that time, majority of the Himalayan range had remained within the Nepalese frontier. It remained for near about a century. All these events and incidents show that Nepal’s northern border line shifted seven times within a period of eighty-one years to and from Tibet.

 

Boundary delimitation

The relation between Nepal and China strengthened after Tibet was a part of the autonomous region of China. To enhance the relationship furthermore, it was agreed that formal settlement of the question of the boundary between China and Nepal is of fundamental interest to the peoples of the two countries. It was believed that formal delimitation of the entire boundary and its consolidation as a boundary of peace and friendship not only constitute a milestone in the further development of the friendly relations between Nepal and China, but also a contribution towards strengthening peace in Asia and the world. Both the governments agreed to delineate and demarcate the customary boundary line in a scientific way.

 

To materialize the boundary survey and mapping, Nepal-China Boundary Agreement was made on 21 March 1960. After making a detailed home work on both the sides, Boundary Treaty was made on 5 October 1961. The treaty was signed by the King of Nepal and Chairman of the People’s Republic of China, after delineating the physical boundary line. 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.

 

It is commendable that all the disputes, claims and counter-claims were settled forever in accordance with the principles of equality, mutual benefit, friendship, mutual understanding and accommodation. Besides, it was adopted by the parties, the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence; and a spirit of fairness, reasonableness, mutual understanding and most importantly respecting each other as Nepal and China have the equal rights and status in the international arena. According to its norm all the issues, except Mount Everest (Sagarmatha) had been settled from the Joint Boundary Committee. Regarding the question of Everest, the dispute was settled and ended while the visiting Prime Minister Chou En-Lai made a statement in Kathmandu on 28 April 1960 that ‘Mount Everest belongs to Nepal.’

 

Boundary demarcation

The demarcation of territory was made according to the delimitation of the treaty. Joint Survey Teams were formed to carry out border survey and they started to erect permanent pillars and markers from 21 June 1962 at different points of the borderline.

 

Under the treaty, the border areas have been adjusted to either country according to its traditional uses, possessions and its convenience. This adjustment was made on the basis of ‘give and take’ and the inclusion of some pasture land within the Nepalese territory. With this principle, Nepal had given 1,836.25 square kilometer of land to China and Nepal had taken 2,139.00 sq km, as it has been added 302.75 square kilometer of Chinese territory into Nepal.[i]   This is a kind of 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 possession of some land and pasture land owned by the citizen of one country felt on the other side of the border, he would become the citizen of another country. To solve this problem, it reached to an understanding on the choice of nationality.

 

The joint teams demarcated and established pillars and markers, specified serial number 1 to 79 from west to east. Among them, there were 48 larger and 31 smaller size 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 to 99 in total. The total length of the demarcated borderline was delineated as 1439.18 kilometers. Erections of border pillars were completed within a period of one year without making any discrepancy in words and actions.

 

The boundary treaty signed on 5 October 1961 determined the border line in a formal and scientific manner that had been remained undetermined for hundreds of years, but had been used according to tradition and conveniences between Nepal and TAR of China. The treaty also solved the minor scuffles that was left by history, and gave rise to the borderline as 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 with history. It was also felt that the treaty was a great contribution to the future generation of both countries.

 

It could be said  that the northern borderline of Nepal has been fixed at almost watershed of the Himalayan Range as the northern border consists of many Himalayan peaks, the borderline goes through the high peaks, mountains, passes, deuralis (terminal points of up mountain), gorges and the pasturelands. Finally, Nepal-China boundary protocol was signed on 20 January 1963. It was also mentioned in the protocol that there would be joint inspection of the whole length of the border by teams of both the countries every five years, but the inspection may be postponed whenever agreed upon by both parties.

 

To renew the protocol, the border was jointly inspected, repaired and maintained damaged pillars. After completing all the formalities, boundary protocol was renewed on 20 November 1979. In the same way, third protocol was renewed on 6 December 1988. To formulate the Fourth and the last protocol, joint inspection and border survey mapping was started on 9 May 2005. The joint teams inspected, repaired and maintained a total number 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. However, it has a minor issues remained to be tackled. Regarding the boundary marker #57 it is found slightly placed inside Nepal, instead of what was previously presumed. It is the matter of a controversy of near about 6 hectares of land. So the joint technical boundary committee meeting, to prepare the fourth boundary protocol, has been stranded till this date. (Excerpts Only)

 

The author is a former Director General Survey Department of Nepal and Managing Director of Bhumichitra Mapping Co. Kathmandu, Nepal. He could be reached at bordernepal@gmail.com. The paper was presented at International Cross-Border Conference on Border Regions in Transition (BRIT)-XII Fukuoka (Japan)-Busan (South Korea) 13-16 November 2012.

 

The Telegraph Weekly, January 16, 2013. Page 4

Advertisements

Nepal: India Boundary delimitation and talk of land encroachment

Nepal: India Boundary delimitation

Two Hands-up

Buddhi N Shrestha

Former DG, Survey Department/ Border expert, Nepal

 

 

Now we come to the case study of the southern boundary of Nepal. Prithvi Narayan Shah the Great had started to unify 56 small kingdoms and principalities into a 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 Britishers, who had entered into India with the intention of doing business there, were ruling India. They probably did not like the rise of Nepal. They began to turn their eyes towards Nepal. The British East India Company Government was looking for an opportunity to expand trade to Tibet. But, since the border of the then Nepali Kingdom had extended west to east covering the northern frontier of British India. The Indian businessmen did not have direct access to the then Tibet. All the easy access transit points to enter into Tibet from India were under the territory of Nepal. The Britishers did not see any way out to fulfill their wish to trade with Tibet through Nepal, except using military force. So they raised an issue of the boundary dispute of Seuraj and Butawal areas of Nepal as a pretext for them to go on war. East India Company thought to threaten Nepal with war.

The British sent a letter to Nepal in March 1814, giving her an order to abandon her occupation of the territory of Seuraj and Butawal. If Nepal did not send back a satisfactory reply to the letter within 25 days, they would capture these places by means of force. But Nepal did not respond. So Lord Hastings officially declared war against Nepal on 1 November 1814. Then a dreadful war between the Gorkhali and British army took place. Many fighters of both sides laid down their lives during the war. In the mean time, British proposed a treaty and Nepal 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 counter signed the treaty on 4 March 1816 at Sugauli. Now Anglo-Nepal war was ended.

This treaty became known as the ‘Treaty of Sugauli- 1816.’ It was mentioned in the articles of the treaty that Nepal shall give up the claim on all the territories that had become a matter of dispute before that war, he shall accept the authority of the Company Government over the Tarai (plain area) across the river Tista in the east; to Satlaj and Kangra in the west. This treaty largely shrunked the border of Nepal to the river Mechi on the east and river Mahakali on the west. Foot-hill of Siwalik Range was the southern border of Nepal with India. As a result, one third of the Nepalese territory was chipped off.

In fact, this treaty of Sugauli was in favour of the East India Company; and Nepal had to suffer a heavy loss of the territory. Nepal was highly dissatisfied to loose a large chunk of land from Mechi to Tista, where there was no war. So, to pacify Nepal and as indemnity, a Supplementary Boundary Treaty was made in 11 December 1816 to which Nepal restored the Tarai low lands from Koshi to Rapti River. In course of time, as a reward to Nepal that Nepal subsided the Sepoy Mutiny in India, raised against the East India Company government; British India returned the ceded western Tarai low land of Nepal from Rapti to Mahakali as new territory (Naya Muluk) signing the Boundary Treaty on 15 November 1860.

As a matter of fact, the Treaty of Sugauli (4 March 1816) and Supplementary Treaty (11 December 1816) are the bases to delineate and demarcate the eastern, western and portion of southern border of Nepal, even though the Boundary Treaty (15 November 1860) implied specially the south-western portion, as the restoration of Banke, Bardiya, Kailali and Kanchanpur districts as new territory (Naya Muluk). And this became the boundary of present day Nepal. It could be said that Nepal’s southern boundary line was expanded and shifted four times within a period of fifty one years.

After the restoration of low land, southern borderline of Nepal with India runs through fertile plains, jungles, rivers and settlements as well. On the east there is the Mechi River and the watershed of Singhalila Range with hills and hillocks stand as the border. On the west, the Mahakali River runs all the way as the border line between Nepal and India.

This is an interesting fact to mention that even after the Sugauli Treaty, there were disputes and differences at various places. But allowing to the Supplementary Boundary Treaty of 11 December 1816, it was envisaged that such disputes would be settled with mutual understanding on the basis of exchanges of land on equal quantity of area and such quantity of ground as may be considered mutually desirable for the new boundary. It further says, as it is impossible to establish desirable limits between the two States without survey, it will 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 of frontier, with a view to the distinct separation of the respective territories of the British Government to the south and of Nepal to the north. In case any indentations occur to destroy the even tenor of the line, the Commissioners should affect an exchange of lands so interfering on principles of clear reciprocity.[i]

Additionally, there were also provisions to exchange any portion that jot in and 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 a survey to establish border markers, and to exchange documents bearing the borderlines and to be approved by both the governments.

Boundary demarcation :

The border demarcation work between Nepal and India was started with the spirit of the Treaty of Sugauli (ratified on 4 March 1816). Surveying and demarcation of border with the erection of pillars had been started just after monsoon season of 1816. The boundary line between two countries was surveyed and demarcated from 1816 to 1860/182/85/1906/ 1940-41 dividing it into nine different sectors with the erection of 913 masonry boundary pillars.

During the demarcation, Nepal and the Company Government had disputes at several places over the border. For example, whether the border line should be taken at the top ridge or the southern or northern foot-hill 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 in ownership of Antu Danda of Ilam in 1825. There was also dispute in 1838 on the origin of the Mechi River, whether the river originated from north-east or north-west should be delineated as the source of the Mechi River.[ii] There was also ‘mine-and-yours’ controversy regarding the border areas adjoining with Tirhut and Sarun districts of India. In 1840, there were claims and counter-claims on the ownership of several villages and settlements of the Ramnagar area.[iii]

The above mentioned examples illustrate that there were disputes on 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 still have been remained to be settled and there were debates, conflicts and controversies.

During the demarcation from 1816 to 1906, border pillars had been planted at a distance of one to 2.5 kilometer according to the terrain. Strip-maps were prepared in connection to the border demarcation. Some of the segments of border line were zigzag, some triangle-shaped sharp line, some other bending with 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 of the portions in some segments. No-man’s land with ten-yard width (Das Gaja) on both the sides was not maintained in those areas. This was the cause of disputes and conflicts on some spots.

In course of time, portions of the dense forest (Charkoshe Jhadi) along the Tarai plain border strip was cut off and cleared to provide settlement for the hill people. Besides, some border rivers changed its courses during monsoon flood and eroded the boundary pillars. So the border was obscure in due course of time. And it became a probability of encroachment from the adjoining densely populated frontier of India. At that time there was a population pressure in Indian settlement, especially Bihar State. So the adjoining Indian inhabitants started to make encroachment on the Nepali frontier for their livelihood; and migrated into Nepali territory. These were some of the causes of shifting border of southern Nepal.

In due time, government of Nepal was aware of this fact of encroachment and occupation by Indian side. So the Nepal government formed an inspection team consisting of the personnel from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs and Land Survey Department. They did field visit, inspected the location of border pillars, and supervised condition of No-man’s land during the dry seasons of 1965 to 1967. Finally, they submitted a report to the government mentioning that there is no clear demarcation in so many portions of some of the segments of the border. Hundreds of boundary pillars have been missing. A considerable number of pillars and monuments have been broken, destroyed, dismantled and smashed in a pitiable state. Many spots on No-man’s land have been cultivated and constructed animal-shed.

Nepal government realized that condition of its low land territory, consisting of southern belt and portion of eastern and western segment, are in deplorable and miserable condition that may create problem in future. Considering all these facts, Nepal moved and talked diplomatically with India to formulate Nepal-India joint border inspection mechanism to so keep the border clear and intact. The talk went on for almost a decade. After a long consultation and conversation, it was finally agreed on 25 February 1981 to work jointly to clear and maintain the border line between two countries. As a result, it was formed ‘Nepal-India Joint Technical Level Boundary Committee’ in November1981.

Various minor issues have been resolved and erected subsidiary/additional pillars and prepared strip-maps of the resolved areas. 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 business. The remaining 3 percent of the border business or 56 km in various spots of the total span of Nepal-India border was beyond their capacity. This unsettled portion of border consists of Kalapani-Limpiyadhura encroachment 17 km, Susta 24 km and other various spots make 15 km. There are encroachment, cross-holding occupation, dispute, conflict, claims and counter-claims in 71 spots having approximately 60,660 hectare. The prominent areas have been identified as Kalapani-Limpiyadhura, Susta, Mechi riverine area, Tanakpur, Sandakpur, Pashupatinagar, Hile, Thori etc. The largest single chunk of encroachment is Kalapani-Limpiyadhura (37,000 hectare) of Darchula district and smallest portion is Fatak 0.025 hectare (240 square metres) in Pashupatinagar of Ilam district. It could be said that boundary treaty and the statement of delimitation do not have detail and clear description. So, it created doubt and suspicion on the mitigation of the boundary issue.

The JTC could not settle major issues of encroachment or disputed portions as there are issues in more than 71 places. The main reasons and issues of the boundary business with India is the border encroachments, disputes on mostly cross-holding occupations, divergence of opinion on basic materials such as maps and old documents for demarcation. The other reason is the slackness in joint survey field teams and lack of equal participation and so on and so forth.

(Excerpts Only) The paper was presented by the author at International Cross-Border Conference on Border Regions in Transition (BRIT)-XII Fukuoka (Japan)-Busan (South Korea) 13-16 November 2012. 

Weekly Telegraph, January 23, 2013 Page 4

Are the Leaders Seeking Second Mahendra ?

                 नेताले दोस्रो महेन्द्र खोजेका हुन् ?

Blue Jacket

बुद्धिनारायण श्रेष्ठ

महेन्द्रलाई विश्वेश्वरप्रति झ्वाँक चलेजस्तै बाबुरामप्रति रामवरणलाई पनि झ्वाँक उठ्ने पो हो कि ! साँच्चै झ्वाँक चल्यो भने कतै दुवैजना गम्ल्याङ-गुम्लुङ हुने त होइनन् ?

राष्ट्रिय सहमतिको सरकार गठन गरी संकट समाधान खोज्ने उद्देश्यका निम्ति प्रमुख दलहरूबीच सहमति कायम गर्न राष्ट्रपतिले मंसिर ८ देखि दिएको नवौं पटकको समयसीमा माघ १ मा अन्त्य भयो । नौ पटकसम्म भकाभक म्याद थपदिंदा पनि प्रधानमन्त्रीको साझा उम्मेदवारमा नेताहरू समझदारीको विन्दुमा पुग्न नसकेपछि राष्ट्रपति थाकेर उनले प्रक्रियामात्रै जारी रहनेगरी म्याद थप्ने शृङखला अन्त्य गरे । प्रमुख दलहरूले सहमति जुटाउन नसकेपछि अब कति समयमात्र थप्दै जाने भन्ने मनसायअनुसार समयसीमा किटान नगरी सहमतीय सरकार निर्माण प्रक्रियालाई निरन्तरता दिइयो । यो प्रक्रिया कहिलेसम्म चालु रहने हो, स्वयम् राष्ट्रपति र प्रधानमन्त्रीलाई पनि थाहा छैन, नागरिक समाजलाई त यसबारे झन् के थाहापत्तो हुने हो र !

यहाँ जिज्ञासा उत्पन्न हुन्छ, के कारणले विद्यमान सरकार वैध भएन र किन नयाँ सरकारका लागि साझा सहमति गर्नुपर्‍यो ? राष्ट्रपतिद्वारा अन्तरिम संविधानको धारा ३८ -१) अनुसार राजनीतिक सहमतिको सरकार गठनका लागि मंसिर ८ गते आह्वान गरिएकोले र संविधानसभाको असामयिक अन्त्य गरिएपछि मुलुकमा विद्यमान राजनीतिक र संवैधानिक संकट निकासका लागि बाबुराम भट्टराई नेतृत्वको सरकार बहिर्गमन हुनुपर्ने र सहमतीय सरकार गठन हुनुपर्ने भएकोले वर्तमान सरकार मान्य नभएको देखिन्छ ।

नयाँ सरकार किन आवश्यक पर्‍यो भन्ने सम्बन्धमा व्यवस्थापिका संसद भंग भइसकेको र वैशाख महिनामा नयाँ निर्वाचन हुने घोषणा पनि भइसकेको हुँदा निर्वाचनका लागि सहमति जुटाउन र संवैधानिक निकायको रिक्तता पूर्ति गर्नका निम्ति पनि सहमति आवश्यक परेको देखिन आएको छ । वास्तवमा निर्वाचन गराउने निकाय निर्वाचन आयोगका र अख्तियार दुरुपयोग अनुसन्धान आयोगका सबै पदाधिकारी रिक्त भइसकेका छन् । विधिको साशन लागु गर्ने सर्वोच्च अदालतका धेरै अस्थायी न्यायाधीशहरूको म्याद पनि सकिएको छ । यसका लागि पनि सहमतीय सरकारकै खाँचो परेको छ ।

दलका नेताहरूले आपसी सहमति गर्ने भन्दै दुई महिना समय लिए, तर आपसी सहमतिमा पुग्न सकेनन् । चाँडो सहमतिमा पुगी राजनीतिक निकास दिन जनताले विभिन्न कोणबाट दबाब दिए । अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय समुदायले समेत छिटो सहमति जुटाउन गरेको आग्रहलाई शीर्ष नेताहरूले कुनै वास्ता नै गरेनन् । आफ्नै तालमा ताली बजाइरहे । यसको कारणचाहिं एकथरी नेतालाई सत्ता नभई नहुने र अर्काथरीलाई सत्ता छाड्नै नचाहने रोग लागेकोले दलहरूबीच द्वन्द्व उत्पन्न भएको छ । यसले मुलुकलाई थप संकटमा धकेलेको छ । यस बाहेक शीर्ष नेताहरूमध्ये कुनै एकले अन्य नेताहरूबाट विश्वास लिन सक्षम भएको सावित गर्न नसकेकोले र आफूले अरु नेतालाई विश्वास दिन पनि नसकेको हुँदा सहमतिको समस्या घुमाउने दहमा रुमलिइरहेको वस्तुजस्तो भएको छ । एक नेता अर्को नेतालाई तत्कालका लागि सर्वोपरी नेतृत्वदायी मान्न तयार छैनन् । नेताले यस्तो अवस्था सिर्जना गरेका हुनाले यहाँ भन्नुपर्ने अवस्था उत्पन्न भएको छ- नेताहरूले दोस्रो महेन्द्र खोजेका हुन् कि ?

Sketch

इतिहास अवलोकन गर्दा राजा महेन्द्र र प्रधानमन्त्री विश्वेश्वरको स्वार्थ बाझिएको हुनाले २०१७ साल पुस १ गतेको घटना घट्न गयो । विश्वेश्वर लगायत नेताहरूलाई जेलमा हालियो । विश्वेश्वरलाई कहिलेसम्म जेल सजाय दिइने हो भनी सञ्चारजगतद्वारा सोधिएको जवाफमा महेन्द्रले ‘आवश्यकभन्दा एकदिन पनि बढी राखिने छैन’ भनी जवाफ दिएका थिए । यहाँ उल्लेख गर्नुपर्ने नै हुन्छ कि महेन्द्रको कूटनीति र विश्वेश्वरको राजनीति हातेमालो गरी सँगसँगै अगाडि बढेको भए आज नेपाल लगभग दक्षिण कोरियाली विकासकै हाराहारीमा पुग्ने थियो होला । तर दुर्भाग्य यस्तो हुनसकेन । यस्तो हुन नसक्नाको कारणचाहिं विश्वेश्वरप्रसाद कोइरालाको व्यक्तित्व युरोपेली समाजवादी देशमा समेत पुगिसकेको थियो । फलस्वरुप ती देशमा हुने भएका विश्व समाजवादी सम्मेलनमा जवाहरलाल नेहरूलाई भन्दा विश्वेश्वर कोइरालालाई बढी निम्तो आउन थालिसकेको थियो ।

अर्कोतर्फ राजा महेन्द्रले पूर्व-पश्चिम राजमार्ग निर्माणको थालनी गरेका, नेपाललाई संयुक्त राष्ट्रसंघको सदस्यता दिलाएका, देशभित्र नेपाली रुपैयाँमा मात्र कारोबार सुरु गराएका र कोदारी राजमार्ग निर्माणका सन्दर्भमा चीन जोड्ने सडकबाट महेन्द्रले कम्युनिष्ट भित्र्याउन लागे भन्ने छिमेकीको भनाइमा ‘नेपालमा कम्युनिष्ट गाडी चढेर आउँदैन’ भन्न उनी बाध्य भएका थिए । यिनै परिप्रेक्ष्यमा नेपालको सरकार प्रमुख र राष्ट्र प्रमुखबीच मनोमालिन्यताको विजारोपन गर्न छिमेकी मुलुक उद्यत भएको होइन भन्न सकिँदैन । हाम्रा वर्तमान नेतावृन्दले यस्ता घटनाक्रमको मनन गर्नुपर्छ र त्यसबाट शिक्षा ग्रहण गर्न सक्नुपर्छ ।

विगतका घटनालाई हृदयंगम गर्दै देशको सर्वोत्तम हितका लागि नेताहरू मिलिजुली राजनीतिक गतिरोधको अन्त्यका लागि दलहरू सहमतिमा पुग्नुपर्छ । यस परिप्रेक्ष्यमा राष्ट्रपति र प्रधानमन्त्री दुवै अप्ठ्यारोमा परिसकेका छन् । राष्ट्रपतिले सहमतीय सरकारको आह्वान निरन्तर रूपले गरिरहेका छन् भने प्रधानमन्त्रीले पनि सहमति जुटाउन आफू प्रतिबद्ध रहेको पटक-पटक जनाएका छन् । तर परिणाम निक्लिएको छैन । यस्तो दुष्परिणामको दोष दुवैमा खनिन सक्छ ।

अन्तरिम संविधान- २०६३ पनि ‘बाँदरको पुच्छर, लौरो न हतियार’ भन्ने भनाइका रूपमा देखियो । संविधानले लौरोका रूपमा न कुनै नेताको टाउकोमा हिर्काउनसकेको देखियो, नत हतियारका रूपमा अवाञ्छित कसैलाई फायर गरेर -हटाएर) अर्कोलाई प्रतिस्थापन गर्न सक्ने देखियो । यो कस्तो प्रकारको संविधान निर्माण भएको रहेछ- व्यवस्थापिका संसदमा प्रधानमन्त्रीका लागि १७ पटक निर्वाचन गर्दा पनि निर्णयमा पुग्न नसक्ने र यस्तैगरी सहमतीय सरकारका लागि नवौं पटकको म्याद थप्दा पनि समाधानको उपाय केही बोल्न नसक्ने संविधान कस्तो हो ? समस्या परेपछि बाधा-अड्काउ फुकाउने प्वाल त हुनैपर्ने हो । यसैबाट अन्तरिम संविधान निर्माताहरू कत्तिको दूरदर्शी रहेछन् भन्ने पनि देखियो । जनताले उनीहरूलाई चिन्नुपर्ने समय आएको छ ।

यहाँ त सहमतीय प्रकरणमा ‘जोगी देख्दा भैंसी तर्सने र भैंसी देख्दा जोगी तर्सने’ उखान चरितार्थ भएको जस्तो देखियो । महेन्द्रलाई विश्वेश्वरप्रति झ्वाँक चलेजस्तै बाबुरामप्रति रामवरणलाई पनि झ्वाँक उठ्ने पो हो कि ! साँच्चै झ्वाँक चल्यो भने के हुने हो, थाहा छैन । कतै दुवैजना गम्ल्याङ-गुम्लुङ हुने त होइनन् ? यसै प्रसङ्गमा उपराष्ट्रपति परमानन्द झाले हालै सप्तरीको बसबलपुर गाविसमा ‘मुलुकको हितका लागि राष्ट्रपतिले आवश्यक पर्दा कानुन मिचेरै भए पनि अघि बढ्दै संविधानको धारा ३८ -२) अनुसारको सरकार गठन गर्नुपर्छ भन्ने कुरा बताइसक्नु भएको छ । यसबाट के बुझिन सक्छ भने उनले एकाध हप्ता राष्ट्रपति पदको कार्यवाहक पाए भने संविधानको उपधारालाई हतियारका रूपमा प्रयोग गरी गतिरोध अन्त्य गर्ने थिए । यद्यपि यो कुरा आफ्नै ठाउँमा छ ।

आजको संवेदनशील घडीमा नेताहरूले मनन गर्नुपर्ने कुरा के देखियो भने मुलुकमा भोलि कतैबाट ठूलो राजनीतिक विध्वंस हुँदैछ, त्यसकारण आजै हामी सबै एकजुट भई सहमतिमा पुगौं र देशलाई निकास दिऔं भनी निर्णयमा पुग्नुपर्‍यो । राजनीतिकमात्र होइन, आर्थिक विकासमा पनि ध्यान दिऔं । सहमति गर्न नसके दोस्रो महेन्द्रले हामी सबैलाई गाँज्नेछन् भनी नेतावृन्दले बेलैमा सोच्नुपर्‍यो । शीर्ष नेताहरूले नेपालको विकासलाई फेरि अर्को तीस वर्ष पछाडि नधकेल्नोस् । कृपया, दोस्रो महेन्द्र नखोज्नोस् । भावी पिढीले तपाइर्ँहरूलाई सराप्नेछन् । तपाइर्ँहरू सबै विलिन हुने काम नगर्नोस् । सहमतिमा छिट्टै पुगिहाल्नोस् ।

While I was in Small Age

While I was in Small Age

Published in Kantipur Daily (Kopila- Weekly Children Gift) on 13 January 2013

Prithvi Narayan’s Saying is still pertinent

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­
                          पृथ्वीनारायणको विचारोक्ति अझै पनि सान्दर्भिक

बुद्धिनारायण श्रेष्ठ

Image
Buddhi Narayan Shrestha

विभिन्न राज्य-रजौटा, भुरे-टाकुरे, स-साना आकारमा छरिएर रहेका हिमाली राज्यहरूको सीमालाई एकीकरणको सूत्रमा बाँधी एउटा बलियो हिमाली राष्ट्र खडा गर्ने अभियन्ताका रूपमा पृथ्वीनारायण शाह चिनिन्छन् । एकीकरण अभियानको क्रममा गोरखाबाट नुवाकोट हुँदै कान्तिपुर, ललितपुर, कर्ीर्तिपुर र भक्तपुरसम्म सीमारेखा तन्काएपछि उनले १८२६ मंसिर १ गते ‘नेपाल’ राज्यको जन्म गराए । उनी र उनका पितापर्ुखा गोरखाका मूली भए तापनि विस्तारित राज्यको नामचाहिँ नेपाल राखेका थिए । यसबाट उनको कुटिलता र उदारता बुझन सकिन्छ । उनका सन्ततिले नेपालको सिमाना पर्ूवमा टिष्टा, पश्चिममा किल्ला-काँगडा, उत्तरमा बेलाबखत सिगात्से -ल्हासा नजिक) र दक्षिणमा गण्डक र गंगाको संगमस्थलसम्म विस्तार गरेका थिए । यद्यपि उनकै शाखा सन्तानका पालामा वर्तमान सिमानामा आइपुग्यो ।

नेपालको सिमाना व्यापक र सुदृढ बनाउने चाहना राख्ने अभियन्ता पृथ्वीनारायण शाहको अन्य पहिचान पनि छन् । कतिपयले उनलाई राजाका रूपमा हर्ेर्ने गरेका छन्, तर उनको क्रियाकलाप अध्ययन गर्दा नेपाल राष्ट्र निर्माता, पर्ूवराष्ट्राध्यक्ष, राष्ट्रप्रेमीको पहिचानसमेत रहेको छ भन्नुपर्ने हुन्छ । भारतमा शासन गरिरहेका अंग्रेजको पञ्जाबाट नेपाललाई जोगाउन उनले अनेक रणनीति र कूटनीति अवलम्वन गरेका थिए । ५२ वर्षो जीवनकालमा नेपालको राष्ट्रियता बचाउन र राष्ट्रको संरक्षण गर्न अनेक उक्ति, उपदेश, भनाइ र दिव्य विचार उनले उजागर गरेका थिए । उनको समयकालदेखि हालसम्म नेपालमा कतिपय उथल-पुथल भएका छन् । जस्तो, तत्कालीन जनताले थापा तथा पाँडेकाल भोगेका थिए भने त्यसपछि एक सय चारवर्षो जहानियाँ राणाशासन, प्रजातान्त्रिक काल, पंचायती कालखण्ड, पुनः प्रजातन्त्रप्राप्ति, लोकतन्त्र, शाहवंसको अन्त्य र हालको संघीय गणतन्त्रात्मक व्यवस्था पनि जनताले अनुभव गरिरहेका छन् । यतिका परिर्वनपछि पनि पृथ्वीनारायण शाहको दिव्य विचार र उक्ति राष्ट्रियताका हैँशियतमा अहिलेसमेत सान्दर्भिक रहेकेा पाइन्छ । त्यस्ता समयसापेक्ष उक्तिहरूमध्ये केही यहाँ उतार्न खोजिएको छ ।

Image

राष्ट्रको सिमाना
देशको सिमाना सम्बन्धमा पृथ्वीनारायण शाहको उक्ति रहेकेा थियो- ‘सन्धिर्सपन हेरी गढी तुल्याई राख्नु र रस्ता-रस्तामा भाँजा हाली राख्नु । जाइ कटक नगर्ुनु, झिकी कटक गर्नु र श्रीगंगाजीको साँध पनि लाग्नेछ ।’ यस अनुसार सिन्धुलीगढी, रसुवागढी, जीतपुरगढी, मकवानपुर गढी जस्ता प्रवेश गर्ने मुख्य-मुख्य नाकामा गढी वा किल्ला बनाइएकोले अंग्रेज-नेपाल सीमायुद्धका समय सिन्धुलीगढीबाट क्याप्टेन किनलकको फौज धेरै मरी हारखाएर अंग्रेजी फौज उत्तर घुस्नसकेको थिएन । यसैगरी नेपाल-तिब्बत युद्धताका रसुवागढीबाट तिब्बती फौज नेपालतर्फबढ्नसकेको थिएन । उनको उक्ति वर्तमान पर्रि्रेक्ष्यमा राष्ट्रको सिमानामा सीमा सुरक्षा बल तैनाथ गर्ुनपर्छ भन्ने कुरा बुझन सकिन्छ । तर पृथ्वीनारायणको उक्ति अनुशरन हुन नसकेका कारण सीमारेखाको सुरक्षा हुन नसकी नेपालको ७१ ठाउँभन्दा बढी सीमा अतिक्रमण, मिचान, वाद-विवाद भएको छ । यसकारण भारतले नेपालको सिमानामा प्रतिकिलोमिटर सालाखाला २१ जना एसएसबि जवान तैनाथ गरेको छ ।

सीमा व्यवस्थापन र शान्ति सुरक्षा
देशको सीमा पद्धतिको व्यवस्थापन गर्न र जनताको शान्ति सुरक्षाका निम्ति ‘पक्की किल्ला बनाउनु, किल्लैपिच्छे तोप राखिदिनु र भञ्ज्याङ्पिच्छे एक एक फलामे ढोका बनाई ढोकापिच्छे पाँच-पाँच सिपाही राखिदिनु’ भन्ने उक्ति रहेकेा पाइन्छ । यस उक्तिको मनसाय अंग्रेज अत्यन्तै चतुरो जाति रहेको छ, लडाइँ- झगडा नगरी छलकपट गरेर भए पनि हाम्रो देशभित्र आउन सक्छन् । त्यसैले सन्धिर्सपन हेरी उचित ठाउँमा किल्ला बनाई रोक्न सकिन्छ भन्ने हुनसक्छ  । यस अनुसार सिन्धुली जस्ता डाँडाको गढीमा अग्लो पर्खालको किल्ला बनाई फलामे तोप तथा बमगोलाहरू राखिएका थिए । यसैगरी देशको राजधानी रहेको काठमाडौं वरिपरि चार भञ्ज्याङ -साँगा भञ्ज्याङ, थानकोट बाडभञ्ज्याङ, काउले रानीपौवा भञ्ज्याङ, लेले चन्द्रागिरी भञ्ज्याङ) काठमाडौं छिर्ने नाकाको रूपमा कायम गरिएको थियो । हिजोआज पनि यी भञ्ज्याङहरूमा प्रहरी चौकी रहेका छन् र शान्ति सुरक्षाका हिसाबमा संवेदनशील मानिएको छ । उपत्यकाभित्र कुनै आपराधिक घटना घटेमा यी नाकाहरूमा कडाइका साथ चेक जाँच गरिन्छ । स्मरणीय छ, थानकोट सुरक्षा जाँच टोलीले भारत उत्तर प्रदेश सरकारका खाद्य तथा रसदमन्त्री सुरेन्द्रविक्रम सिंहका सहोदर भाइ ब्रजेशप्रताप सिंह तथा दर्ुइ भारतीय सुरक्षा अधिकारीसहित ६ जना भारतीयलाई १ थान एसएमजी, १ थान पेस्तोलसहित २०६१ असार १४ गते पक्राउ गरी भारतीय दूतावासमा बुझाएका थिए । यसबाट पृथ्वीनारायण शाहको दिव्य उक्ति हिजोआज पनि र्सार्थक रहेको छ भन्ने प्रमाणित भएको छ ।

अर्को कुरा, आजकलको रकेट र मिसाइलको जमानामा हाम्रा गढीमा तोप र बमगोला राख्नुको के मतलब रहन्छ र भन्ने भनाइ आउन सक्छ । तर अंग्रेज-नेपाल युद्धताकाका रसुवागढी र सिन्धुलीगढीमा रहेका यस्ता ऐतिहासिक पौराणिक वस्तु अवलोकन गर्न स्वदेशी-विदेशी पर्यटक ओइरिन्थे होलान् । तर यस्ता किल्ला र किल्लाभित्र रहेका सामरिक जिनिसको जगर्ेना र स्याहार-सम्भार गर्न नसकेका कारण यसको महत्व घटेको छ । यद्यपि यस्ता गढीमा अझै केही पर्यटक जाने गरेका छन् । पृथ्वीनारायणको उक्तिअनुसार गढी र किल्लालाई चुस्त-दुरुस्त राख्नसके देशले आर्थिक आम्दानी गर्न सक्ने थियो ।

कूटनीति
‘यो राजे दर्ुइ ढंुगाको तरुल जस्तो रहेछ, चीन वादशाहसित ठूलो घाहा -मित्रता) राषनु, दषिनको समुद्रका बादशाहसित घाहा ता राषनु, तर त्यो महाचतुर छ’ भन्ने उक्तिलाई देशको बागडोर संचालनका लागि मार्मिक दृष्टान्तका रूपमा लिन सकिन्छ । हुन पनि हो, भारत या चीनमध्ये कुनै एकलाई नेपालले चिढाउने काम गर्‍यो भने नेपाल चिरिप्प नभए पनि हानी भने पुग्नसक्ने सम्भावना छ । त्यसैले नेपाल छुरीको धारमाथि हिड्नु परेको छ । चतुरोको फन्दामा परेर नेपाल बीचधारबाट दक्षिणतर्फचिप्लिएमा दक्षिणको चतुराले नेपाललाई खेलाई-खेलाई नुन-तेलसम्म पनि रोकेर नाकावन्दी गर्ला भन्ने सम्भावना नभएको होइन । स्मरणीय छ, शिथिल कूटनीतिका कारण दर्ुइ देश बीचको सरकार प्रमुखको मनोमालिन्य भएकोले २०४५ चैत १० देखि २०४७ असार १७ सम्म नेपालले आर्थिक नाकाबन्दी खेपेकै हो । तर पनि सरसामान अभावका कारण खान नपाएर एक जना पनि नेपाली मरेको सुनिएन ।

दक्षिणतर्फो मित्र चतुर छ भन्ने दृष्टान्त अन्य कुराबाट पनि अनुभव गर्न सकिन्छ । नेपालमा प्रत्येक नयाँ प्रधानमन्त्री हुनेवित्तिकै ‘रेड कार्पेट’ ओछ्याएर स्वागत गर्न तातो निमन्त्रणा पठाइहाल्छ । हाम्रा सरकार प्रमुख पनि लुरुलुरु गइहाल्छन् । आफू भने गत १५ वर्षेखि नेपाल आएका छैनन् । मित्रता भनेको त लगभग ‘रिस्रि्रोसिटी’ का आधारमा सुदृढ हुने होइन र ! उनीहरूकेा ध्येय होला, हामी बोलाउँ छांै उनीहरू आइहाल्छन् । यहीँ हामी उनीहरूको कुरा सुनिहाल्छौं, जे सूत्र भन्नुपर्ने हो, उनीहरूलाई भनिहाल्छौं । अनि बेकारमा धाइधाइ नेपाल जान किन आवश्यक पर्‍यो र ! हुन पनि यस १५ वर्षो समयकालमा झलनाथ खनालबाहेक हाम्रा १० प्रधानमन्त्रीले औपचारिक भारत भ्रमण गरेका छन् । डा. बाबुराम भट्टर्राई प्रधानमन्त्रीमा चुनिएको एक घण्टाभित्रै भ्रमणको निम्तो दिएका थिए । तर इन्दिरा गान्धी अन्तर्रर्ााट्रय विमानस्थलमा नेपालका प्रधानमन्त्रीलाई भारतका सहसचिवस्तरका व्यक्तिले स्वागत गरे । निम्ताको जवाफमा हाम्रा सरकार प्रमुखले विमानस्थलमा आफ्ना समकक्षी उपस्थित हुने भएमात्रै भ्रमण गर्छर्ुुनी र्सतसहित चतुरका अगाडि महाचतुर हुन किन नसकेको होला – सायद पृथ्वी विचार बिर्सर्ेेहो कि !

उत्तरको मित्र पनि कम छैन । चीन-नेपाल सीमा-नाकाबाट रात-बेरात नेपाल छिरेका तिब्बतीलाई हिरासतमा लिएर चिनियाँ राजदूतावासलाई बुझाऊ, यात उनीहरू जताबाट आएका हुन्, उतै फिर्ता पठाऊ भनेर दबाब दिने गरेको छ, चीनले । पश्चिमेली देश -भारतको र्समर्थनमा) भन्छन्- नेपाल पसेका ती तिब्बतीहरू शरणार्थी हुन् । ‘जेन्टलमेन एग्रिमेन्ट’ अनुसार उनीहरूलाई नेपालले परिचयपत्र प्रदान गर्नुपर्छ । परिचयपत्र प्राप्तिपछि चाहे उनीहरू नेपालमै बसुन् या अन्य देशमा जाउन् । परेकेा छैन त नेपाललाई फसाद ! परिचयपत्र दिउँ भने त्यस्ता तिब्बतीहरूले नेपालको भूमिमा रहेर ‘प्रिm तिब्बत’ को नारा घन्काएर चीनको तिब्बतप्रतिको कमजोरी विश्वसमक्ष उजागर गरी चीनको खुट्टा तान्ने, अनि हाम्रो उत्तरी मित्र बिच्कने । अर्कोतर्फ नेपालले दिएको परिचयपत्रका आधारमा अमेरिका र बेलायतले तिब्बतीलाई भीसा प्रदान गर्ने अनि उनीहरूको देशमा पुगेपछि तिब्बतीले दिएको सूचना र जानकारीका आधारमा चीनलाई गाल्न खोज्ने ।

यस्तैगरी परिचयपत्र नदिंदा अमेरिकी संसदका आर्थिक दुरूपयोग नियन्त्रण समितिका सदस्यसमेत रहेका सांसद फ्य्राङ्क उल्फले भन्ने गरेकेा छन्- ‘तिब्बती शरणार्थीलाई आफ्नो चाहना अनुसारका गतिविधि गर्न नदिए आफ्नो देशले नेपाललाई उपलब्ध गराउने लाखौंलाख डलरको सहयोग रोक्का गर्ने र कटौती गर्नेमात्र नभई त्यसलाई शून्य पार्नेछौं ।’ यसबाट नेपाल मुस्किलमा परेको छ । यस्तै प्रसंगमा पृथ्वीनारायणको उक्ति रहेकेा छ- ‘यो नेपाल तखत किल्ला हो, यो किल्ला पायो भन्या चारै बादशाह -बेलायत, रुस, चीन तथा रोम) ले बार्‍हाला लाउनेछ ।’ यसै उक्ति अनुसारको नीति बनाइएमा नेपाललाई परेको मुस्किलबाट फुर्सद पाउनसक्ने थियो कि !

अन्य मामिलामा चीन पनि कम्तिको छैन । अनियमित तरिकाले नेपालतर्फघुस्ने तिब्बतीका बारे चीनको आफ्नै कमजोरी छ, जुनचाहिँ उसले आजसम्म महसुस गरेकेा छैन । तर नेपाललाई बोझ पारेको छ । तिब्बतीहरू नेपालतर्फपस्न खोज्ने त चिनियाँ सीमा-नाकाबाटै हो । चीनले नेपाल छिर्ने नाकामा गतिलो ध्यान पुर्‍याएर तिब्बतीलाई त्यतै रोक्न किन सकेको छैन – चीनबाट उम्केपछि मात्रै उनीहरू नेपाल पस्ने हुन् । अर्कोतर्फमौन चालमा नेपालको दक्षिणी भेगको आर्थिक विकास परियोजनामा चिनियाँ परामर्शदाता तथा कामदार सम्लग्न गर्राई भारतको कमजोरी बुभ\mने कार्यमा चीन विस्तार अघि बढ्दै गरेको कुरालाई भारतले सूक्ष्म दृष्टिले हर्ेर्ने गरेको छ । त्यसैले नेपालले दर्ुइ ढुंगामध्ये एक ढुंगाले नकिचिने र दर्ुइमध्ये एकमा ननजिकिने रणनीति बनाउन पृथ्वीनारायण शाहको उपदेश र्सार्थक हुनसक्छ ।

11345375

आर्थिक रणनीति
१.    ‘देशको जिनिस्, जरिबुटी विदेश पठाउनु र नगद खैंचनु’ भन्ने उक्ति भए तापनि नेपालमा भएको १० हजार १ सय ६७ प्रकारको वनस्पति, सुगन्धित विरुवापात र जडीबुटी परदेशी आएर संकलन गरी नाममात्रको निर्यातशुल्क तिरी असीमित परिमाणमा लैजान्छन् । नेपालीले नै संकलन गरी प्रतिस्पर्धात्मक मूल्यमा विभिन्न देशमा पैठारी गरिने व्यवस्था भए नेपालको आर्थिक हैंसियत केही भए पनि बढ्ने थियो ।

२.    ‘खानी भयाका ठाउँमा गाउँ भया पनि गाउँ अरु जगामा सारिकन पनि खानी चलाउनु’ भन्ने उक्ति सम्बन्धमा यसको उल्टो रितले कार्यान्वयन गर्ने गरेको पाइन्छ । उदहारणार्थ, केही महिनाअघि नेपाल सरकारबाट अनुमति लिएर चिनियाँ कम्पनीले प्युठान र रोल्पाको सिमानामा पर्ने माडीखोलाको किमिचौर बगरमा सुनखानी खोजी कार्य सुरु गर्दा नगर्दै त्यहाँ अस्थायी टहरा बनाई बस्ती बस्न सुरु भइहाल्यो ।

३.    ‘पानी भयाका ठाउँमा गाउँ भया पनि गाउँ अरु जगामा सारिकन पानी चलाउनु, गर्‍हो बन्या जगामा घर भया पनि घर अरु जगामा सारी कुलो काटी खेत बनाई अवाद् गर्नु’ भन्ने पृथ्वीनारायणको विचारोक्ति हँुदाहुँदै पनि काठमाडौं महानगरका साबिक राजकुलोको नाम-निशान मेटिएको छ । धोबिखोला, टुकुचा जस्ता खोलाको अस्तित्व लोप हुने गरी बस्तिले ढाकिसकिएको छ । उक्तिलाई मार्गदर्शनका रूपमा लिइएको भए आज ट्राफिक जाम हटाउन सडक चौडागर्ने क्रममा र्सवसाधारणको अर्बौ रुपियाँ बेकार खर्च हुने थिएन । नदीका डोलक्षेत्र हराभरा भएर सागसब्जी र खाद्यान्न प्रशस्त उत्पादनभई प्राकृतिक वातावरण पनि सन्तुलनमा रहने थियो । पृथ्वीनारायणकै उक्तिलाई सम्झना गरेर होला हाल सरकारले भू-उपयोग योजना लागू गर्न लागेको छ, जसमा कि कृषियोग्य वर्गीकरणमा परेका जमिनमा आवास तथा अन्य प्रयोजनका लागि उपयोग गर्न बन्देज लगाइएको छ ।

४.    ‘देस -विदेश) का कपरा लगाउन मन्हाई गरिदिनु, आफ्ना देसका कपरा बन्न ज्यान्नालाई नमना देखाई बन्न लाउनु’ भन्ने विचारोक्तिलाई बिर्सर्ेेसरकारले हेटौंडा कपडा कारखाना तथा ज्योति स्पिनिङ मिल जस्ता बन्द हुनु बाध्य तुल्यायो । यो उक्तिको मनसाय देशभित्रै कलकारखानाको विकास गर्नु हो भन्ने बुझन सकिन्छ । तर सरकारले भएका कलकारखाना बन्द गर्दै त्यहाँका मेसिनरी पार्टपर्ुजा कौडीको मोलमा लिलाम गर्‍यो । उदहारणार्थ, बाँसबारी छालाजुत्ता कारखानाको लिलामी मिसिनले अहिल्यै पनि भारतको गोरखपुरमा जुत्ता उत्पादन गरिरहेकै छ ।

सामाजिक मान्यता
‘घुस दिन्या र घुस खान्या इन दर्ुइको ता धन जीव गरिलियाको पनि पाप छैनर्,र् इ राजाका महासतुर हुन्’ भन्ने उक्ति पनि सान्दर्भिक देखिन्छ । यसै उक्तिले छोएर पर्ूवमन्त्रीहरू चिरञ्जीवि वाग्ले, खुमबहादुर खड्का, जयप्रकाश गुप्ता आदिले भ्रष्टाचारकाण्डमा जेल सजाय पाएका हुन् । तर पृथ्वीनारायणको उक्ति अनुसार यी भ्रष्टचारीलाई घुस दिने को हुन् – अहिलेसम्म पर्दाफास भएका छैन । घुस नदिइकन खाएको होइन होलान् । पृथ्वी विचारोक्ति र्सार्थक बनाउन अबदेखि घुसदिने व्यक्तिलाई पनि सरकारको शत्रु ठानेर त्यत्तिकै मात्रामा सजाय गरिनु पर्छ ।

‘प्रजा मोटा भया दर्बार बलियो रहन्छ’ भन्ने उक्तिका सम्बन्धमा जनता आर्थिक रूपमा सम्पन्न भए उनीहरूले सरकारलाई प्रशस्त राजस्व बुझाउँछन् र सरकार राम्ररी चल्ल सक्छ भन्ने हो । तर सरकारले देशभित्रै कलकारखानाको प्रवन्ध गरी श्रम तथा रोजगारी सिर्जना गर्न नसकेकोले जनता आर्थिक मामिलामा पिल्सिएका छन् । यसैले सरकार पनि कमजोर रहेको छ । जनता समृद्ध भए सरकार सुदृढ हुन्छ, विदेशीको भरपर्नु पर्दैन । आज महानगर क्षेत्रको ट्राफिक लाइट र ओभरहेड पुल जस्ता सामान्य कुरा निर्माण गर्न पनि विदेशीको मुख ताक्नुपरेको छ । गरिब जनताले तिरेको राजस्व धनी राजनीतिक नेताले काठमाडौंबाट ललितपुर जान पनि हेलिकोप्टर उपयोग गरी रिसोर्टको महँगो खाना -आसेपासे साथै) खाने गरेकोले गाउँको विकास निर्माणमा बजेट पुग्न सकेको छैन । नेपाली युवायुवतीले विदेशमा श्रम गरेर रेमिटेन्स नपठाएको भए अहिलेसम्ममा नेपाली बजारमा नगद चल्तिफिर्तिमा हाहाकार भइसक्ने थियो होला ।

यसैगरी राष्ट्र निर्माणका लागि पृथ्वीनारायण शाहका अनेक विचारोक्ति र उपदेश रहेका छन् । तर सरकार प्रमुख ती उक्तिहरूलाई नीतिगत कुरामा ढाली कार्यान्वयन गर्न हिचकिचाउने गरेको छ । यो त राजाले व्यक्त गरेको अभिव्यक्ति हो भन्ने गरेका छन् । यहाँ प्रश्न आउँछ राष्ट्र विकासका निम्ति नेपाली नाम्ले, डोके, खर्पने जनताको आर्थिक समृद्धि हुन्छ भने त्यस्ता उक्ति चाहे राजाले या रङ्कले भनेका हुन्, त्यो लागू गर्दा के ब्रि्रन्छ र –

अन्तिम
आजभन्दा एकाध वर्षअघिसम्म केही राजनीतिक नेता पृथ्वीनारायण शाहको नाम भन्न त के सुन्नै चाहँदैन थिए । तर आज ती नेताहरूले पृथ्वीनारायणको नाम र्सार्वजनिक सभामा पनि लिनलागेका छन् । पृथ्वी विचार नेपालको विकासका निम्ति अझै पनि सान्दर्भिक रहेकेा महसुस गरेका छन् । सरकारले भू-उपयोग आयोजनासँग सम्बन्धित रहेको उक्तिलाई नीतिगत बुँदामा पनि पारेको छ । यसैगरी नेपालको कूटनीति र आर्थिक विकासका रणनीतिमा पनि सम्लग्न गर्दै लगिएमा नेपाल समृद्धिको बाटोतिर लम्किने थियो ।

Image

पृथ्वीनारायणलाई शाहवंसीय राजाहरूको पितापर्ुखाको हैँसियतमा होइन, तर नेपाल राष्ट्रको निर्माताको रूपमा र हिमाली राज्य एकीकरण अभियन्ताका हैँसियतमा उनको सम्झना र सम्मान गर्नुपर्छ । उनले गरेको राष्ट्रप्रेमको आदर र कदर गर्न हामीले हिचकिचाउनु हुँदैन र पर्दैन । नेपालको इतिहासमा उनको आफ्नै  पहिचान रहेकेा कुरा विर्सनु हुँदैन । मैले मेरो बाबुबाजेलाई सम्झना गरिंन र आदर गरिंन भने म नालायक र बेकम्मा हुन्छु । त्यसैगरी नेपाल राष्ट्रको निर्माताको हुन् भनी स्वदेशी-विदेशीले सोधे भने हामीले विनाहिचकिचाहट र्सवप्रथम पृथ्वीनारायण शाह नै हुन् भन्नुपर्ने कुरा इतिहासले बताएको छ । उनले नै २ सय ४३ वर्षघि वर्तमान नेपालको जन्म गराएका हुन् ।

JICA Nepal Education Programme Study

Follow-up Study of JICA Nepal Education Programme

Buddhi Narayan Shrestha

Background

JICA Alumni Association of Nepal (JAAN) conducted an extensive follow-up study of Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) Nepal Education Programme. It was a consultancy work provided to JAAN by JICA Nepal Office. It was the first time in the history of JAAN to conduct a consultancy work. The duration of the consulting work was from January to March 2012.

JICA Nepal Educational Survey was conducted in seven districts, namely Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, Tanahu, Syangja, Dhading and Sindhupalchok. In this survey the impact of the Japanese support in JICA Participants training in Japan and JOCVs (volunteers) support in education sector in Nepal were studied. A detail report of the education survey was prepared and submitted to JICA Nepal Office. The study has drawn its findings from three main sources viz. document review, field data and the consultative meetings with the high level officials from the Ministry of Education.

Japan’s support to major educational projects

Japan’s support in Nepal’s education sector has been a major donor support project. Different educational projects were implemented in Nepal with the support of Japan government. One of the major supports received from JICA in education sector is the support for the Education for All (EFA) program through Basic and Primary Education Project/Program (BPEP) that focused mainly in access and quality. JICA support in basic and primary education has contributed to enable children to have access to quality education. JICA has been giving priority in the sectors like basic and primary education, tertiary education, science and mathematics education, non-formal education, women education and education for socially disadvantaged people. Priority of JICA in the education sector, especially support to education for all Program (SEAP) has been one of the key areas of development assistance.

School construction

In order to support Government of Nepal to achieve the education goals of the universal basic education, JICA provided four school construction projects, namely i) Project for Construction of Primary Schools in Support of Basic and Primary Education Program (BPEP), ii) Project for Construction of Primary Schools in Support of BPEP (phase II), iii) Project for Construction of Primary Schools in Support of Education for All (EFA) Program in Nepal and iv) Project for Construction of Primary Schools in Support of EFA (2004 – 2009). Through these four school construction projects, a total of 8,768 classrooms were constructed with the latrines and the water supply systems and the resource center facilities were improved.

Nepal’s priorities in education sector

School Sector Reform Plan (SSRP) is one of the major educational projects in Nepal at present. The purpose of the SSRP is to improve efficiency in education, aiming at EFA to reach parity in gender and inclusion, and ensure equitable access to quality education through a holistic school sector approach. The SSRP aims to bring reform in the school education in the sector with a focus on ensuring quality and excellence in education. Because education has ever been a high priority of the government in Nepal. As the signatory of the Education for All (EFA), the government has its commitment to the universal primary education and various reform programs are in place to address access and quality issues in the school education in Nepal.

Objectives of the study

This follow-up study was intended to make a quick review of JICA’s contribution in

education sector. The main primary purpose of this study was to make a rapid appraisal of such contribution

and suggest strategies to continue or initiate new activities for future. The focus of this

survey was mainly on two key areas, as an impact of JICA’s educational activities. The first

was an in depth assessment of the impact made in the training programs (capacity

building) of government and other related education officials in the form of their impact in the

educational field of Nepal. The second area was to assess the Japanese Overseas Cooperation

Volunteers (JOCVs) support and its impact in schools, communities, Community Learning

Centers (CLCs) and related educational organizations. The secondary objective was to :

  • review the impact of  capacity building programs (training/seminars/exposure visits etc.) of government and other related education officials in education sector in Nepal.
  • identify key issues and challenges associated with the JOCV and capacity building programs.
  • recommend strategies to enhance the JOCV and capacity building programs as a way forward mechanism.

A set of tools were prepared for the various respondents to collect different types of data and

information associated with the study.

Educational survey team

JICA Alumni Association of Nepal (JAAN) Executive Committee constituted a Sub-committee coordinated by JAAN’s General Secretary to design the project, write proposal and manage consultancy. The sub-committee meetings were conducted at various point of time to work out the details of the project. In order to guide the sub-committee for the survey, an Advisory Committee (AC) was constituted with the Chairmanship of JAAN President.

11

A team of qualified professionals was sent to each district headed by district coordinator to collect the data and the study team monitored the field study for ensuring the quality of the data. Consultative meetings were also organized with the officials of Ministry of Education and JICA representatives to get their response regarding the technical assistance of the government of Japan in education sector including the JOCV and capacity building program. National stakeholders’ workshop was organised to validate the findings and collect their feedback for final finalization of the report.

During the survey 18 schools had been located in seven districts. Various stakeholders such as 21 JOCVs, 23 counter-parts, 19 Head-teachers, 15 student groups, 8 District Education Officials (DEOs), 34 institution heads and 44 Ex-JICA participants were interviewed by the District Team (Associate/Assistant) Researchers. District Co-ordinator had supervised the work of the Researchers. District field teams had organized 18 Focus Group Discussions in seven districts to make the findings more reliable and authentic.

22

Besides, Central Consultant Team, Project/Consultancy Sub-committee and Advisory Committee were formed to make the study smooth and timely completed. Various Forms, Interview/Questionnaires were developed to collect the field data and information. In the same way focus group discussion guidelines were chalked down for the field survey teams. At the end of the project stakeholder’s workshop was organized in the center. Various dignitaries from the Ministry of Education, Tribhuvan university, JAAN, JICA Nepal Office, JOCV, Embassy, School, media persons had participated the workshop.

The data obtained from the field and the information collected from the review of related documents were tabulated in the form of flow charts, tables and matrix to reflect and represent the intent of the study. The final report prepared was the culmination of the effort made by the study team to make it as representative and realistic of the JICA support extended to Nepal’s education sector with a focus on JOCV program and capacity building of the Nepalese education officials.

Key findings

1. JOCV Program

Responses from the interview and focus group discussion revealed that the areas of contributions made by JOCVs in schools and communities are related to their commitment and dedication. Teachers in schools where JOCVs were working learned different kinds of skill essential for their profession (knowledge and skills) and culture of hard work, dedication and honesty. Learning environment was increased as compared before the arrival of JOCVs in schools. Schools were being child-friendly. Improvement in students’ health status was another visible change in the schools served by the JOCVs.

The JOCV left visible impression in the society. Awareness in gender, changes in child caring habit, food and nutrition, waste management, involvement of women in decision making process, involvement of them in income generation activities and culture of cooperation among women were some crucial examples of the changes brought due to the contribution of JOCVs.

Changes in community could be seen at the working culture, mutual respect, regularity, punctuality, sharing culture and accountability as the pertinent exemplary changes in the institutions. The students felt that they have learned some important skills from the JOCVs.

JOCVs were very positive about Nepal in general and they think that local people do understand that there are problems in the society and they need to overcome them. But there is a tendency to relying on someone else to address the problems rather than trying to do what they could do. The JOCVs who worked in the past were found to have continued their relationship with the local communities even after they went back to Japan.

2. Capacity building program for JICA trained Nepali

Nepalese trainees have attended various types of programs such as training, seminars, conferences and exposure visits. The training courses were different disciplines such as material development, use of technology, youth invitation program, health education, nutrition, primary teacher training, Montessori program, multi-media and science, Early Childhood Development (ECD), Science experiment in primary education and community management etc.

Almost all the participants have shared their experiences; back home, there was some exception, though, after their returning back from Japan. Time management, school management, culture of hard work, punctuality, team work, meeting the deadlines, work ethics, dedication to the work were some of the highlights of the sharing sessions that the participants presented in a focused way. All the participants rated the program in Japan as very successful and qualitative one. Very few participants questioned on the relevancy of the program they attended in Japan. They found huge gap between Nepal and Japan in terms of development, working environment, resource for employing learnt skills, and physical infrastructure of office where they work.

Issues to be addressed

1. It was identified that following issues should be addressed regarding the JOCVs:

a)     The institution heads were not adequately consulted beforehand regarding the background and qualifications of the JOCVs. Due to the lack of enough communication, the JOCVs expertise and school/community needs might not always match.

b)     There was no any formal agreement between the host institution and the JOCV providers/JICA. This has created more or less expectations gap and confusions in the beginning of the program.

c)     Although there was a provision of filling out volunteer request (V1/V2) form on request basis which also acts as a Terms of Reference (ToR) for the JOCVs, the intent of such ToR has not been well communicated and understood by both the counterparts and recipient organizations in some places.

d)     Some of the local communities and the host institutions had said that some JOCVs do not have relevant background in terms of their qualifications for the work they are assigned to do in Nepal. This sometimes created a kind of gap between the JOCVs and their counterparts.

 33

e)     Effective coordination among the JOCVs, their counterparts and the host organisation was questioned especially in places and organizations where the ToR was not specifically understood.

f)      Stakeholders were not so much aware of the monitoring mechanism from JICA regarding the work of the volunteers.

g)     District Education Office/Officer/Officials (DEO) use to say that the volunteers are not in DEO’s chain of command. They come to the districts directly from the DOE and no consultation was made with the DEO regarding their placement. This sometimes had created misunderstanding regarding appropriate placement in the institution of their choice.

h)     The orientation provided to the JOCVs was not sufficient. So it would take a little bit more time for them to get adjusted to the local context.

2. Some of the issues raised by the Ex-JICA participants in capacity building training have been given below:

a)     Some participants developed action plan of their activities after coming back to Nepal and wanted to implement the plan in the field but due to the lack of resource allocation from their organisation they could not implement it. Thus, resource was an issue to implement change as pointed out by the participants

b)     Follow-up of the program from the host institution side was another issue pointed out by some participants. By follow-up they mean that the host institution should recognise the work they do and support them to implement the change in their work place

c)      Participants have risen that the institution culture is yet another issue that plays significant role in implementing change in the organisation. According to them, the institution culture in Nepal sometimes poses problems in implementing change as there is a resistance to change among the peers

d)     Politicized environment is another issue that the participants have pointed out in their response. Some participants feel that due to the high level of politics that exists in the organisation, there is no cordial environment to apply their knowledge and skills that they have learned from Japan.  Frequent transfer  and change in leadership create confusions to introduce something new in the organisation

e)     Duration of the program is another issue pointed out by the participants. Some participants feel that the short term training was not enough to have in-depth knowledge and skills in the targeted areas as the first few days had to be spent in understanding the Japanese culture and life style

f)      Some of the teachers and head-teacher participants said that the School Management Committees (SMCs) are not active enough to cooperate with them to bring change and reform in schools. Lack of team work among the SMCs and lack of resources in the public schools have been the real issues to apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills

g)     The institution heads have expressed that they were not consulted while selecting the participants for training to Japan and this has created some accountability issues. Had they been consulted in the selection process, they would have been able to contribute something qualitative upon their return to the organisation.

Conclusion and Suggestions of the final report

1. In the final report, following suggestions have been mentioned regarding the JOCVs:

a)     The respondents have demanded that there should be a memorandum of understanding signed among DOE and JICA at the center and JOCVs and host institution at the local level.

b)     Some of the JOCVs have realised that the host institutions were not clear enough about their roles. There are different kinds of expectations in the communities regarding the role of the JOCVs. Thus, a detailed orientation in the following areas is necessary to make the program effective:

  1.                            i.          A written Terms of Reference (TOR) of the JOCVs at the level of the host organization.
  2.                          ii.          Orientation to the JOCVs about the education system of Nepal.
  3.                        iii.          Orientation about the local community culture and local dynamics.
  4.                        iv.          Orientation to the institution heads regarding the role of the JOCVs in the institution.
  5.                          v.          Orientation to the local communities about the role of JOCVs in community development and awareness.

c)     Schools have shown their preference to the female JOCVs. According to them, female JOCVs can offer better care for the young and very young students.

d)     The host institutions and the counterparts have shown preference to the experienced JOCVs (SVs) rather than the fresh graduates (juniors).

e)     Duration is another issue that came into discussion with most of the respondents. The stakeholders have said that the duration of the JOCV should be made at least of two years for those who come for short time. Short term assignment is not enough to have substantial impact in the communities since it will take some time for them to familiarise themselves with the local culture and context.

f)      Review the progress of the JOCVs on regular basis and increase the frequency of regularity of field visit by JOCV coordinator from JICA Nepal Office for effective coordination among the volunteers, counterparts and recipient organizations.

g)     The respondents have also requested to establish a mechanism where the JOCVs and their counterparts can come and present their experiences for mutual sharing and learning.

h)     DEO officials expressed that JOCVs, especially the Senior Volunteers (SVs) working as Resource Persons, should be placed at the Resource Centres so that their expertise can be best utilised for more beneficiaries.

i)      JOCV program in future should not be Kathmandu valley centered. Remote and underdeveloped areas should also be given due priority for JOCV placement.

j)      The respondents have requested that there should be some mechanism for the JOCVs to share their experiences and best practices with the other teachers and stakeholders for the dissemination of their innovative and creative ideas. This can be done in the form of workshops, meetings, seminars and other interactive discussions.

k)     Selection of the JOCVs should be based on their areas of expertise so that their contributions could be made more meaningful and rewarding.

2. The respondents have made the following suggestions to make the Ex-JICA participant’s capacity building program more effective:

a)     Capacity building program should continue in the future with more concentration on the specific needs of the participants and the organization they are associated with.

b)     There should also be a monitoring and supervision mechanism when the participants come back and work in their respective institutions

c)     A written agreement should be signed between the participants and JICA with the specific post-training activities that the participants have to do upon their return from Japan

d)     The visit was a little short to learn something substantial. It takes a couple of days to be familiar with the system in Japan and once the participants are used to the system in the high tech environment, it is already time to leave Japan. Thus, an in-depth orientation of the culture and life style of Japan should follow the learning visit so that there will be enough time for the participants to learn in the specific area.  Regarding the in-country training in Nepal they opined that it should be  required but should not be more than one week’s duration

e)     Selection of the right person for the right course is very essential and they felt that this has not been seriously considered in some cases

f)      The government of Nepal need to make it sure that the participants should be given ample opportunity to implement their ideas/skills/knowledge after returning back from Japan. In some cases, it happened that the participants were transferred to another office/institution no  sooner than they returned back from the exposure visit

g)     The participants have also requested a need of refresher training in their respective areas. This will not only help them update in the contents they learned in their previous visits, but also they can share their rich experiences they collected after their visits to Japan.

Note:- This write-up has been mainly based on the Final Report of JICA Nepal Education Survey- 2012.

 

%d bloggers like this: