Sima Sangram (Border War)
A book entitled ‘Sima Sangram (Border War)’ written by Buddhi Narayan Shrestha and published by Ratna Sagar Publication P. Ltd was launched amidst a colourful program on 1 April 2013. The book was released jointly by the Renowned Culture Expert and three times Madan Prize Winner Satya Mohan Joshi, Chairperson of Avenues Television Bhaskar Raj Rajkarnikar and Editor-in-Chief of Kantipur Daily Sudheer Sharma.
During the book release program, the writer of the book Buddhi Narayan Shrestha said that the commentators will speak later the strength and weakness of the book; and what topics have been included and what are the lacking and short comings in the book. However, I would like to say something on the reasons of writing this book.
Many of my friends and well wishers used to enquire me that the northern neighbour of Nepal, that is China also might have encroached the Nepali territory. Why don’t you write it ? Secondly, as everybody knows that India, the southern neighbour has encroached the territory since long. Whether the encroachments have been stopped or resolved or increased in the current period. They were asking me to write and renew the position of our border business activities. So I have written this book with the title as ‘Sima Sangram (Border War)’ to pacify the inquisitiveness of my friends, colleagues and Nepali civic society.
Now let me first tell you on the border business of Nepal with China. After the boundary agreement in 1960 and boundary treaty in 1961, border demarcation was made during 1961-62. During the joint demarcation, there were claims, counter-claims, conflicts and disputes on 32 spots including the Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. But it was settled amicably with a view of friendliness, brotherhood, equality, mutual respect, spirit of Panchasheel; and Nepal and China have the equal rights in the international arena, no matter the country has small or large territorial area and more or less population. It is commendable that all the controversies and disputes were settled for ever in the technical level. But the issue of Mount Everest was settled in the Prime Minister level. During the visit of Chinese Prime Minister Chou-en-Lai to Nepal, it was settled on 28 April 1960. In a press conference in Singha Darbar Gallery Baithak, the Chinese Prime Minister told that ‘we had some conflict on the issue of Mount Everest. On this issue we studied the hand made paper map and documents provided by the Prime Minister of Nepal Bisheshwor Prasad Koirala in the technical, administrative, political and diplomatic level; and the government of China came into conclusion and made decision that ‘Mount Everest belongs to Nepal.’ So all the demarcation work was completed in less than two years period.
However, some of the Nepali settlements like Chyanga and Lungdep of Kimathanka VDC of Sankhuwasabha district and some grazing lands for example of Humla and Dolakha districts were demarcated on the Chinese side. It may be due to the ignorance or slackness of Nepali team members, not paying attention to the problem. On the other side of the coin, some Chinese territory was demarcated belonging to the Nepali side. But most of these areas were snow covered steep and rocky area. Whatever it may be, it was all settled for all and there is no issue on it.
Currently, there are two issues between Nepal and China. The first is the border marker number 57 of Lapchigaun of Lamabagar area of Dolakha district. There is a claim and counter-claim on six hectares of barren land. The Nepali team says that the border marker was established in the wrong place in the Nepalese frontier. The Chinese team responded that it was monumented during 1961-62 demarcation period. So there is no point to remove the marker and establish on the Chinese frontier.
The other issue is the height of Mount Everest. The Chinese team pleaded that the height of the Everest must be taken as 8844.57 meter and this height should be written on the Nepal-China strip-map. They have argued that China re-measured the height of Everest (Quolongma) and it is taken to the rock height.
The Nepali side responded that there is no point to reduce the height of Everest (Sagarmatha), short by 3.43 meter. Various countries of the world have regarded the height of Everest as 8,848 m. It should be taken the snow height. Nepali side is pleading that if we take the rock height of Everest, then we must take the rock height of other mountains as well; like Lhotse, Manasula, Kanchanjungha etc. Mount Godwin Austin or Mount K-2, the second highest mountain in the world of Pakistan has been measured with snow height. Taken into consideration to all these references, there is no point to reduce the height of Everest. And the issues have been stranded for the last six years between Nepal and China. Whatever it may be, the issue should be resolved talking with each other in a cordial manner.
Regarding the border issues with the southern neighbour, there were encroachments, disputes, conflicts, claims and counter-claims on 53 spots, a decade ago. Now the number of disputed spots have been increased to 71 places. Ten years ago, the total area of conflicts was 60,000 hectares of land in 21 Nepali districts; and now it has reached to 23 districts as 60,662 hectares. In such a way the disputed area, number of spots and number of districts have been increased by 662 hectares, 18 spots and 2 districts respectively within a period of ten years. I have mentioned the sources from various information of the government offices, Constitutional Assembly Committees and independent researchers.
The book has been targeted mainly to the readers who have interest on the national boundary issues. Similarly, this book will be useful for the College and University students who have been engaged on research, study and thesis writing on the boundaries. It is also worth reading for those who are interested on the Himal of Nepal, mountain passes and border crossing-points of Nepal with the neighbouring countries.
Besides, security concern agencies, especially the border security force and other organizations such as Armed Police Force, Nepal Police, Nepal army, local administration and Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs could use this book as basic source of information and knowledge on the boundary of Nepal with India and China. Similarly, the book will be helpful for the Survey Officers who are engaged on the border demarcation business. This book can be utilized by the surveyors during the preparation of Public Service Commission Examination for service entry and competitive post promotion.
Nepali youths have to become aware of the shrinking of Nepali territory, whether it might have been pushed from the Chinese side or Indian side. National boundary is the integrity of the country. If the boundary shrinks or encroachment continues, it may ultimately challenge to the existence of the nation. It is the responsibility of the government, general public and more so the youths to secure the Nepali territory intact.
In the book release function, Culture Expert and three times Madan Prize Winner Satya Mohan Joshi highlighted on national boundary issues and mentioned tendency of the Nepali political leaders. Joshi said, he is very much obliged to the publisher and writer of the book in writing and publishing such a nationalistic book. He further said, there is no understanding of the border issues in the present political leadership. This book of Buddhi Narayan Shrestha is an important document of border consciousness. As the chief guest of the program, Joshi urged the government has to safeguard Nepali territory from the Indian clutches. He appealed that the time has come for our youths to play the role as the protector not to let shrinking Nepali territories.
Culture Expert Satya Mohan Joshi further said, Junga Bahadur Rana was the most far-sighted in view of the protection and preservation of national boundary of Nepal. J B Rana has done a very commendable job retrieving back the lost territory of the districts of Banke, Bardiya, Kailali and Kanchanpur from the British East India Company. It is worth mentioning that he did not accept the new territory of four districts unless it was demarcated by Masonry (Junge) Pillars with ten yard strip No-man’s land on both the sides.
In comparison to Junga Bahadur Rana, the then King Mahendra was not far-sighted on the border issue. While returning from China visit, the King directly went to Tundikhel KhariKo Bot (Parade Ground Khari Tree) and the King said, ‘it is a matter of happiness that half of Sagarmatha (Everest) is ours and the remaining half belongs to China.’ The King had said that the peak of Sagarmatha is ‘half and half.’ In this aspect Satya Mohan Joshi said, the King is not nationalistic. He should bring the peak of Everest to our side.
He recalled that the United Nations Population Division had invited to the then government of Nepal to enumerate the population of Nepal in connection to establish the census data- how much is the world population ? Since the population of even small countries like Nepal would not have been included in the world census, the global population census statistic would not be completed. He mentioned that Thir Bahadur Rayamajhi, Nara Kanta Adhikari, Keshar Bahadur Karmacharya, Hridaya Nath and Satya Mohan Joshi (he himself) were included in the census enumeration team of Nepal. We had participated as Officer Level personnel from Census Department of Nepal. An international training center was established in New Delhi to impart training for the uniformity in all the countries.
At first, population data of eastern Nepal was taken in 1952 and western Nepal was covered in1953. At that time census population was enumerated in a symbolic method. During that period the inhabitants of hilly and mountainous region like Kalapani was counted in a rough estimate. Now Kalapani area has been encroached by the neighbour. Their eyes have been rooted in Kalapani. Our political leaders are sleeping. It is a gesticulation that Nepali territory has been encroached. But we are silent and mum.
At the end of his talk Satya Mohan Joshi said, whatever it may be- this book Sima Sangram (Border War) has brought us border awareness. This writer of the book has worked as a ‘Border Watch Dog.’ If Buddhi Narayan Shrestha stops barking on the border issues, Nepal will sink. Boundary is very important for the sovereignty of nation. National boundary must be protected by us, the Nepali people. We should work as Army men for the protection and preservation of our boundaries.
As a co-launcher of the book, Chairman of the Avenues Television Bhaskar Raj Rajkarnikar made public that various challenges and criticism have to be born while televising and raising the border issues of Nepal through the electronic media. Buddhi Narayan Shrestha’s written achievement as book has inspired us to work and go further ahead in the border related aspect. Rajkarnikar opined that he is pretty sure that the present book ‘Sima Sangram’ will help to let understand the border issues to the Nepali people and to carry on study and analysis by the researchers.
This book will be useful to the electronic media to expose and solve the border issues of Nepal. At the same time the present book has created a wave on the border matter. Everybody must understand that boundary is an integral part of the nation. For this purpose, Avenues Television has utilized the experience and knowledge of Buddhi Narayan Shrestha on the matter of border business and we have provided information to the Nepali people through him.
Sometimes there are complaints from the so called friends, while Avenues Television raises the border problems. They say, why you have raised the question of borders and frontiers ? In response, we use to make a counter question- ‘While we televise the actual situation of our border, why you feel your border uncomfortable ?’
Another co-launcher of the book Sudheer Sharma, Editor-in-Chief of Kantipur Daily expressed that the book is an energetic source of information even for the journalism.
He praised Buddhi Narayan Shrestha for his comprehensive effort to review Nepal’s border issues. Shrestha’s articles and write-ups with the related reference, data, date and actual incidents are clear in language, straight forward in subject matter and easy to read. So we heartily publish his articles in our Kantipur Daily. This is the reason we have given him space in our daily newspaper. With the eyes of journalists, we can regard Buddhi Narayan Shrestha as the ‘Watchman of the national boundary of Nepal.’ His work is incomparable, so we must be grateful to him.
As Sudheer Sharma recalled his memory of ten years ago while going for reporting on the Kalapani border encroachment area he said, border encroachment issue will not get substantive decision until and unless the state leadership is active. We are entangled into the internal boundaries, like the boundary of Federal States; by which the state agency who looks after our international boundary is ‘disabled and defunct.’
As a commentator on the book, Former Ambassador Hiranya Lal Shrestha expressed his comment that the first and foremost work to protect the national boundary of Nepal should belong to Nepali Army man. He opined that the former Maoist rebellions who have been engrossed in the Nepali Army contingent should have been deputed for the security of national boundary. Army should be involved in the Joint Boundary Committee. As it is known that Military Officers usually keep account about border security.
He pointed out with a sharp criticism to the political leaders of Nepal that our leaders are mum even while the national boundary has been encroached and violated by the neighbours. He made a point that Buddhi Narayan Shrestha is the true border ‘Watchman’ without government uniform. He has been monitoring the border for its protection. He is a patriotic intellect to save the border. His present book has the holistic comparative study of the border problems.
We should formulate integrated border development program in the border areas. We should develop border towns and Ex-Army men should be inhabited in the frontier area. Frontiers on both the sides must be peaceful, stable, crimeless and free from terror to march ahead for prosperity. We should be careful against disintegration. We must be vigilant and self respectful for the security of our national border.
Political leaders do not have time to look after the national border. But Buddhi Narayan Shrestha is the vigilant and fore runner on the border matter to create awareness to the civic society. His book ‘Sima Sangram’ is a lively document of border awareness. The speed with which Indian aggression is continuing, a day will soon come the Indian aggression will arrive at Singha Darbar, if the leaders are mum and apathetic.
Open border between Nepal and India has been misused. There are smugglings of goods and materials through the open border. So the border should be regulated and fenced for the betterment of both the countries.
The other commentator Prof. Dr. Surendra KC of Tribhuvan University History Department said, large country like India has encroached the territory of small country like Nepal. If there are open and unrestricted movement, privileges and trans-migration of these days; there will be a remarkable short fall in Nepal’s population.
Expressing his worriness Prof, KC opined that there will be an alarm of Nepal nationalism due to the free and open movement of the people through the international boundary. He further said, 95 percent of the border demarcation between Nepal and India has been completed. The remaining 5 percent on the various spots of the border has alarming questions. Our border on various spots have been encroached. It is a question mark that what is the expectation of the neighbour ?
Prof. KC said, Buddhi Narayan Shrestha is vigilant on border activities. Shrestha is worried about the border encroachments. He keeps information where there are border issues. Wisdom and specialities are the great elements. For this we have to congratulate Buddhi Narayan Shrestha. With him, we have to be updated ourselves on the condition of our frontier and the tendency of border encroachment. Actually, History Department of the Tribhuvan University should take up these matters. But the department is reluctant.
In the beginning of the program, Chairman of the publisher of the book or Ratna Sagar Publication P. Ltd Arjun Kumar KC welcomed all the guests and dignitaries who were present in the book release function, on behalf of book publishing company and his own.
He said, we have published the book ‘Sima Sangram’ written by Buddhi Narayan Shrestha. We are proud of him. He believed us and we published his book. This book has full of national sentiment to create the awareness on the current situation of boundary and border issues of Nepal with the neighbouring countries.
At the end of the program, as the Chairman of the function and Managing Director of Ratna Sagar Publication P. Ltd Mohan KC said, we are the business men and intend to earn some money by publishing the books. This is the general nature of the book publishers as business men. We are aware of the professional ethics and responsibility. But we are committed to the nationalism and national integrity rather than to earn something. So we publish the books which have national feeling and sense of sovereignty and integrity of the nation.
With this perspective, we have published the book ‘Sima Sangram (Border War)’ authored by Buddhi Narayan Shrestha. We are happy for this publication. We don’t mind if we don’t get anything from this publication. But we think it will help to preserve and protect the national boundary of Nepal. This is great for us.
If the intellect persons write on the national issues in any theme, we print and publish it for the sake of nation. We believe that we have to provide national and sovereign feeling as an education for the future generation.
The publisher of the book further said, British authors had written and put down on the paper whatever the subject matters they liked, concerning our nation as well. And we have obtained that as for our reading materials and we have gained some knowledge. Now, we the Nepalese must write ourselves in any of the subject matters about us and our nation, as it may be the history. That should be truthful and based on reality and it will provide a clear picture for the future generation. In this context, we are happy to publish the book authored by Buddhi Narayan Shrestha. We call the other intellectuals and researchers to write books on nationalism for the development of our nation. We are committed to publish that sort of composition.
Master of Ceremony of the program (MC) Thakur Belbase, senior Journalist of Image FM 103.6 Radio said, the book ‘Sima Sangram’ is published by the Ratna Sagar Publication P. Ltd. The price of the book is Rs. 300. But right now it is available at the cost of Rs. 200 only for the respectable guests and audiences of this program.
At the dead end of the program, traditional snacks were served with pop corn, onion Pakora, rosted potato with pickle. The venue and snacks were provided complementary (free of cost) at Bhojan Griha by the owner Bharat Basnet. He is the Chair person of Explorer Group Nepal. The organizer and Buddhi Narayan Shrestha thanked Basnet for his generosity. Everybody knows Basnet that he has a Movement of Nationality and he is the main activist of ‘Prithvi Narayan Shah the Great, who started to unify Nepal.’ Prithvi Narayan Shah formally established Nepal as a Himalayan State and thus Nepal was born on 17 November 1769.
The book launching program was attended by more than 250 invitees and guests, various facets of the society consisting from ordinary people to the former Minister, retired Commissioners, former Ambassadors, University teachers. human right activists, former Army men, Armed Police Force, renowned musicians, senior Journalists, Chair persons of various organizations and institutions. Some of the representative participants were as followings :
Former Minister Marshal Julum Shakya, Former Chief Election Commissioner Bhoj Raj Pokhrel, Former Chief Commissioner of Commission for investigation of Abuse of Authority Surya Nath Upadhyaya, Former Secretary of Ministry of Home Affairs Chandi Prasad Shrestha, Former IGP of Armed Police Force Sanat Kumar Basnet, Former Army Major Kuber Shrestha, Former SP Dr. Chuda Bahadur Shrestha, Former Rector of Tribhuvan University Dr. Surya Lal Amatya, Former Ambassadors Dr. Mohan Prasad Lohani, Pushkar Man Sing Rajbhandari, Dr. Bishnu Hari Nepal, Former Consulate General Tamla Ukyab, University Professors/Teachers Prof. Dr. Rama Basyal, Prof Dr. Gopal Pokharel, Dr. Raj Kumar Pokhrel, Dr. Ramesh Dhungel, Prof. Dr. Uma Kanta Silwal, Dr. Hari Prasad Shrestha, Human Rights Activist Dr. Ram Dayal Rakesh, Former SOS Director D B Thapa, Former Survey Director General Toya Nath Baral, Former Chairman of Nepal Bar Association Biswo Kanta Mainali, Senior Lawyer Sindhu Natha Pyakurel, Past President of Nepal Mountaineering Association Aang Tshering Sherpa, Energy Activist Ratna Sansar Shrestha, Former Chairman of Nepal Airline Engineer Sugat Ratna Kansakar, Former Director of Nepal Airline P N Vaidya, Former Registrar of Supreme Court Shree Prasad Pandit, Greater Nepal Activist and Film Director Manoj Pandit, Senior Journalist Bhairab Risal, Capital FM 94.3 Radio Director and Journalist Byakul Pathak, Renowned Musician and Folk Song Singer Raamesh Shrestha, Chief Tax officer Bala Ram Sapkota, President of Border Concern Civic Society Chetendra Jung Himali, President of China Study Center Madan Regmi, President of JICA Alumni Association of Nepal Engineer Dilli Ratna Shakya, President of Nepal Council of World Affairs Tika Jung Thapa, ICCN Chairperson Dr. Anjan Shakya, Travelogue Writer Prateek Dhakal and so many other dignitaries and high ranking persons.
(Collected from Kantiur Daily, Kathmandu Post Daily, Gorkhapatra Daily, Annapurna Post Daily, Weeky Telegraph, Video, Avenues Television, News24 Television, Image Channel Television etc.)