Travelogue : Unforgetful Paris

Travelogue : Unforgetful Paris

 

(Gist summary of this article in English is written just below this image)

Birsana Nasakine Paris

I had visited Paris three times before. This time I had to go to attend and present a paper from Nepal entitled ‘Cross-Border Mobility Between Nepal and India’ in the international boundaries conference ‘Border Regions in Transition (BRIT)- xii.’

 

I had determined in Kathmandu before going to Paris that I get a picture in front of Eiffel Tower with a Nepali cap and I will download in my Face book. After check-in Appi Hotel in Paris I proceed to the Eiffel Tower by Metro via St-Michel. Before reaching the St-Michel Station an incident was occurred which is unforgetfulness in my life.

 

I entered into the Metro train in Etinne Marcel Station. The train was packed, so I had to stand up catching the steel railing. The train was running. I felt that somebody is touching the right heap pocket of my pant. I checked it and I found that the button of my pocket was unfastened. I thought, I had fastened the button but now it is unfastened. Having thought this, I checked my wallet, that was intact into my pocket. I fastened the button. At the very moment I felt that somebody has touched the left heap pocket of my pant and at the same moment, I heard a low sound of something like the scratching of a paper. I abruptly checked my pocket and there was no envelope into my pocket. And I automatically cried ‘Pick Pocketed’ and I instantly turned back. I saw some fellow passenger’s hand that has been half raised. And I suddenly looked at his face. He instantly said- ‘I amn’t.’ At the very moment, I abruptly looked at the floor of the train. An half folded envelope was lying. Automatically I cried ‘This is my envelope’ and I picked it up. At the very moment I saw the train has already stopped at the station and passengers were getting off. I also got off immediately from the train. The door of the train became shut and the train left the station. All these items of incidents had happened within half a minute time duration.

 

When I got off the train, I was rather nervous standing on the platform. I was slightly sweating and my eyes experienced a picture of red,blue, purple colours, and a kind of head ache. Then I sat down on a nearby bench. I had so many debates into my mind. If both of my pockets (wallet and envelope with Euro money) had been pick pocketed, what would be my condition in Paris ? If it was so, I would have only three Euro coin left. I had no any money into my suitcase and hand bag as well, which I had checked-in into the Hotel Appi.

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Side-bent Nepal-China Diplomacy

Side-bent Nepal-China Diplomacy

(Summary of this Nepali version article is written in English just below this image)

Side-bent border diplomacy

Nepal-China boundary agreement was made in 1960, boundary treaty in 1961, border demarcation was done in 1961-62 and boundary Protocol was signed in 1963. During the demarcation, there were conflicts and disputes in 32 places and spots including the controversy of Sagarmatha (Mount Everest). But all the conflicts were resolved amicably within a period of one and half years. The issue of Everest was settled for ever in the Prime Ministerial level.

 

The first Protocol was renewed and consequently second and third Protocol was made in 1979 and 1988 respectively. To renew the third Protocol and to prepare the fourth Protocol, Nepal-China joint boundary committee was formed in 2004 and it is still working, whereas the second and third protocol was signed within two years period each. But the fourth Protocol is not yet prepared since ten years have been elapsed. What may be the reason ? Whether is it due to the present ‘Side-bent Diplomacy between two countries ? If so, and again what is the reason ?

 

There are two reasons: the first is the conflict on the boundary marker number 57 and the height of the Everest. On these issues, Nepal says- the marker 57 has been misplaced and 6 hectares of Nepali territory have been encroached. In response, China says- it was established during 1961-62 demarcation and it is established correctly.

 

On the second issue, China proposes to mention the height of Everest as 8844.43 meter as the rock height. Nepal pleads- We don’t believe, if one says that the height of Sagarmatha has been decreased. Similarly, we don’t agree if some other says that the height of Sagarmatha has been increased. National Geographic, USA has published a map depicting the height as 8850 metre. But we we are rigid in our traditional height, until and unless we measure the height of Sagarmatha by ourselves, as this the heritage and property of Nepal. So these two small issues have been the bone of contention between two countries.

 

The other aspect of the ‘side-bent of Nepal-China border diplomacy’ is that China had invited Nepal for a boundary meeting fixed beforehand for 1st February 2012. Nepal also prepared to attend the meeting to resolve the issue. But at the eleventh hour, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai directed, just two days before the meet, to the Nepali team ‘not to raise and deal the matter on that issue’. And the Nepali team did not attend the joint meeting. This may be the ‘side-bent of border diplomacy’ between China and Nepal.

 

Whatever may be the above mentioned matter, it has to be dealt in a new perspective. Nothing has to be worried. Now the time has come to make the ‘feeble border diplomacy’ to be converted into ‘active diplomacy.’ Many of the Chinese and Nepali delegations have been exchanged visits for the last few months. Most recently, Chinese Communist Party’s International Department Deputy Minister Chhen Fengxiyang and many other Chinese high level delegations have visited Nepal. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is landing Kathmandu on 25 December. There is a great possibility of visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015 as well.

 

Due to above mentioned reasons, Nepal has disheartened China and it has made a stricken with sorrow to China. Now it has to fill in a ditch and the border diplomacy has to be put forward by Nepal officially and unofficially or formally or informally to the visiting Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Because Chinese authorities are positive to Nepal. So, Nepal has to play a role to rejuvenate the border discussion and the issues have to be resolved amicably.

Cho Oyu : The Border Peak

Cho Oyu : The Border Peak

??????????                                                       Buddhi Narayan Shrestha 

                                                       Border Researcher and Madan Puraskar Winner

 

Mount Cho Oyu is situated on the border between Nepal and China. This is the fourth Nepal-China border peak above 8000 metre and sixth mountain peak among eight thousanders on Nepal Himalaya. In other words Cho Oyu (8201 m) is the fourth Sino-Nepal border peak, after Sagarmatha-Mt. Everest (8848 m), Lhotse (8529 m) and Makalu (8463 m). There are 40 peaks along Nepal-China border. Similarly, 8 peaks fall on Nepal-India border line. Rest are the inland peaks of Nepal which are located from a few metres distance to more than ten kilometres from Nepal-China and Nepal-India boundary line.

 

There are 14 mountain peaks taller than 8000 m all over the world. Among them eight mountains have been located in Nepal Himalaya. Of them four peaks are situated in Nepal-China border, only one (Kanchanjunga 8516) along Nepal-India border, and remaining three (Dhaulagiri 8167, Manaslu 8163, and Annapurna First 8091) are inland peaks of Nepal. These eight peaks rank as first, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and tenths in altitude in the world. The first highest is definitely the Sagarmatha and the tenth is Annapurna First. Cho Oyu belongs the fourth highest Nepal-China border peak in Nepal Himalaya and it holds sixth position in the world above 8000 m. It is interesting to note that 31 Himalayan peaks over 7600 m, 22 are in Nepal Himalaya including 8 out of the 14 highest giants in the world.

 

The whole Himalayan Range extends west to east for 2,400 kilometre as a vast south-facing are between the Indus River marked by Nanga Parbat and Namcha Baruwa in the east as its terminal point. The Himalaya is the ‘abode of snow’ and it is the youngest and highest mountain system of the world. It is a natural fact that the main Himalaya does not form a continuous chain but rather a series of lofty ranges separated by deep river gorges and high mountain passes. One third of the Himalayan Range or 800 km of its central section from Mahakalai Border River to Kanchanjunga massif traverses through Nepal and it is known as ‘Nepal Himalaya.’

 

It is commendable that Nepal Himalaya has become a great theatre of mountaineering activities in these days. Indeed, the mountains of Nepal have many facets that will continue to engage human endurance and ingenuity for generations to come. Mountains of Nepal Himalaya be used as a field where people from different countries can enhance their spirit of adventure, while also makes a strong appeal and effort for the conservation of the Himalayan environment and ecology.

 

Nepal is known as the ‘Himalayan Country’ all over the world. Nepal Himalaya has a panophy of 1,310 peaks and pinnacles exceeding 6000 m, a unique concentration of lofty dazzling summits. Thus, of the peaks exceeding 6000 m, there are 246 in the west, 567 in the central and 497 in the east. The number of peaks by category of height are as followings:

S.N   Designation               Altitude (Metres)    Number
1      Eight Thousander      Above 8000                 14
2     Seven Thousander     7500 – 8000                43
3     Seven Thousander    7000 – 7500                  87
4     Six Thousander          6500 – 6999               301
5     Six Thousander         6000 – 6499                865
Total= 1,310

(Source: Harka Gurung (2004), Peaks and Pinnacles, Nepal Mountaineering Association, Kathmandu : 134)

Out of 1,310 mountain peaks, 326 have been opened for expedition till this date. Government of Nepal has a policy to open the remaining peaks for expedition step by step in future. It is to be noted that 112 peaks are still virgin, of those opened to this date. Nepal government has delegated the authority to Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) to issue the climbing permit of 33 mountain peaks among 326 opened.

 

Cho Oyu is the mountain which is climbed and loved by many expeditioneers from all over the world, after Everest. Cho Oyu is most favoured over 8000 m peak for expedition. It is also a colossus of a mountain, of a shapeliness and balance which is exceptional for the other Himalayan peaks. It is said that this peak is the easiest peak to climb among the eight thousanders and it has got its popularity. At the same time Cho Oyu is a typical and different peak from other mountain peaks, because there is a flat ground atop ( near about 136 square metre), which no other mountains have.

 

Geographically Cho Oyu peak is located at 28° 06′ North latitude and 86° 39′ East longitude having 8201 metre altitude from the mean sea level. It lies 30 km north-west of Sagarmatha and 8 km east of Nangpa La (4776 m) which passes through a trade and expedition route to China. Cho Oyu has five ridges. The south and north-eastern ridge forms the border line that separates the frontier of Nepal and China; whereas the north, north-east and north-west ridges fall on Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) of China. Ridges in Chinese territory are low in altitude in comparison to border ridges of Nepal.

Cho Oyu Climbing from Tibet

Mount Cho Oyu is regarded as god by the adjacent people. The word Cho Oyu translates into the ‘Goddess of Turquoise.’ Cho means ‘sacred text’ whereas Oyo in Sherpa word refers to ‘turquoise’ and it means a blue precious stone. A Lama at Namche Bazar told the first summiteers Herbert Tichy that the name Cho Oyu meant ‘mighty head.’

 

If we have a look on the history of Mount Cho Oyu, it was formally discovered in 1851 by the Survey of India during Great Trigonometrical Survey. Initially, the Survey did not consider Cho Oyu in the group of highest mountains of Nepal Himalaya. However, re-assessment of the survey data recognized it as one of the giant mountain peaks of the world, so it was assigned the peak number T-45, as Everest was numbered as Peak-XV.

 

Administratively, the southern face of Mount Cho Oyu is within the jurisdiction of Khumjung village development committee (VDC) of Solukhumbu District of Nepal. The nearest settlement from the base camp is Thonak situated at around 11 km away.

 

Cho Oyu primarily has two climbing routes up to the base camp from Nepal side and two from Tibet side. The route from Nepali frontier side from the base camp to the top is steep, but it is a sloping terrace towards Tibetan side. So most of the Cho Oyu expeditioneers have climbed this mountain from Tibet side. Herbert Tichy, Joseph Joecheler and Pasang Dawa Lama Sherpa in an Austrian expedition had the first successful summit on 19 October 1954 from Tibetan side as it was selected as the easy route. It is mentionable that Pasang had narrated the virgin peak Cho Oyu to Tichy in 1952 during a research journey through western Nepal. After that Tichy planned and implemented an expedition to that virgin mountain climbing and finally they were successful. The unconquered mountain was a challenge for them and the great success of conquering the peak was achieved in 1954. Had Pasang not communicated the information to Tichy, he would not be the first successful mountaineer to conquer the Mount Cho Oyu.

 

Regarding to climb Chou, it may take nearly 49 days from Nepal side whereas it takes near about 43 days from Tibet side including acclimatization, camp cleaning and closing. From Nepal side the flying, caravan and climbing route starts from Kathmandu to Lukla (fly), Namche, Dhote, Gokyo and Base Camp. If the expedition team deserves to climb from Tibet side, they should travel by four-wheel drive vehicle to Khasa from Kathmandu and then go to Tingri (Tibet) and Gyablung Base Camp. After that they have to trek to the summit. Following table shows the details of location of base camp and climbing camps:
S.N     Location/Camp      Nepal Side                   Tibet (China) Side
1 Kathmandu Kathmandu-Lukla (flight)-

Namche-Machharmo-Gokyo -Ngozumba

Tso-Base Camp (near Kyanjumba Glacier)          Kathmandu-Khasa-

Tingri-Base Camp (Gyablung)
2 Base Camp                            5400 m                               5620 m
3 Advanced base Camp                                                    5700 m
4 Camp-I                                 6400 m                              6400 m
5 Camp-II                               7000 m                                7200 m
6 Camp-III                             7600 m                                7600 m
7 Summit                                8201 m                                 8201 m

8 Duration near about        49 Days                                 43 Days

 

Cho Oyu Map

The south face of Cho Oyu facing Nepali frontier is steep, rather difficult and somehow rarely climbed. Because there is a vertical cliff just below the summit in the south-eastern side in Nepal frontier. This makes the ascent of Cho Oyu peak somehow difficult. The danger of avalanches are there every minute. The temperature remains almost below minus 35° C and windy. But the north side of the mountain from TAR China is more easy and relatively safe to summit. So the normal route for most of the mountaineering teams follow via Tibet.

 

Summit of Cho Oyu belongs a broad plateau. There are high piles of bulk of snow on the plateau. So it may be confusing to identify the exact summit. But successful expeditioneers have erected a red aluminium stake which marks the highest point. It has made easy to recognize the summit of Cho Oyu.

 

The summit plateau is divided into Nepali and TAR of Chinese frontiers by its southern and north-eastern ridges as border line. It is interesting to mention that only a small portion of summit plateau falls on Nepali territory. Large chunk of the summit plateau on north-western and south-western ridge the west face has almost sloping flat area lies on TAR Chinese territory. Therefore Cho Oyu climbing from the Tibetan route has become popular among expeditioneers.

 

One of the main reasons for climbing Cho Oyu from Tibet side is the low royalty fee. The other reason is a technical one that means ascending the peak from Nepal side is difficult, as it is steep as mentioned above, but it is not impossible. The third reason is, trucks could be reached to the base camp (Gyablung). The next reason may be- mountaineers generally could enter into Tibetan territory without permission, as mostly China makes slackness, which may have been a factor to lure the mountaineers. Due to these reasons, hundreds of climbers have done summit from Tibetan side. But only 13 climbers from Nepal side so far successfully have reached the peak.

It is to be noted that illegal crossing into Tibet to climb Cho Oyu is a risky job. It may be relevant to mention here one incident. Two Serbian crossed the Nangpa La (Nepal-China border pass) on 20 October 1994 and camped below the west ridge of Cho Oyu. The next day Chinese officials came up to look for them, but the Serbs evaded detection and headed up Cho Oyu. They did not reach the summit. When they came down, the Chinese were waiting and arrested them. Chinese took all their equipment, but not any money, and escorted them back over the pass.

 

Whatever may be the above mentioned case and incidents, Government of Nepal must promote Cho Oyu mountain climbing expedition from Nepal side, providing necessary facilities. It is necessary to negotiate with the Chinese Government that the Cho Oyu climbing permit holder from Nepal side especially crossing Nangpa La, should let them cross the border to Chinese frontier and trek ahead to summit, and back to Nepali frontier via Nangpa La.

 

So far as the other case of Nepal-China border peak/Sagarmatha is concerned, anyone who climbs Mt. Everest from the south has to obtain visa from Nepal Government, while anyone who climbs the mountain from the north has to secure a visa from the Chinese Government. The successful summiteers climbed from China can step to the Everest summit, which belongs to Nepal, and install flag and take photographs. But they have to return back to Chinese side. If they want to descend down to Nepal side base camp, they should have been already obtained visa and paid the royalty to the Government of Nepal.

 

In this context, it is imperative to suggest that the Everest system should be implemented also for the case of Cho Oyu through negotiation with the Government of China. Those who trek from Nangpa La to Cho Oyu summit, they should be automatically permitted to enter into Chinese frontier, provided they must return to Nepali frontier via Nangpa La. To materialize this action, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) should be initiated by the Government of Nepal, to be endorsed by the Chinese Government. It will help not only to promote Cho Oyu expedition from Nepal, but also it will enhance the mountaineering activities in Nepal. As a result it will further strengthen the age old mutual and cordial relationship and friendship between the two bordering countries, Nepal and China.

 

References

1.Mountains in Nepal Facts & Figures (2013)), Government of Nepal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation,
Kathmandu
2. Tichy Herbert (1957), Cho Oyu: By Favour of Gods, London, Wien
3. Padma Chandra Poudel (2004), Nepal Parbat Vol-5, No-11, Kathmandu :41
4. Reinhold Messner (2004), Nepal Parbat Vol-5, No-11, Kathmandu : 27
Peter Habeler (2004), Nepal Parbat Vol-5, No-11, Kathmandu : 33
5. Mountains in Nepal Facts & Figures (2013)), Government of Nepal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Kathmandu :154
6. American Alpine Journal (1995), The American Alpine Club, Golden, Colorado, USA: 244
7. Avtar Singh Bhasin (1994), Nepal’s Relation with India and China Vol-II, Delhi, India:1264 ♣ ♣

Demand for National Unity Day : King Prithivi Recalled

Nepal: Demand for National Unity Day,

              King Prithivi recalled

1

At an interaction program organized by ‘The Prithivi Narayan Shah Memorial Foundation’, speakers asked the government to declare Poush 27-the birth anniversary of Prithvi Narayan Shah as National Unity Day.
The day falls on January 11, next year.
This they have been doing since the country adopted the republican order but to no avail.
“Our national unity is facing gravest threat in the present unstable political environment,” they said while addressing a program held at the Reporters’ Club in Kathmandu, December 18, 2014.
5
Speaking at the program presided over by coordinator of the foundation Bharat Basnet, the general secretary of Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal Chandra Bahadur Gurung while urging the nationalist forces to unite said, “King Prithivi Narayan Shah was the one who united the entire country and recognizing his contributions national unity day must be celebrated.”
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Former communist leader Modanath Prashrit expressed that the present day leaders for their petty personal interest are conspiring to split the country into several pieces.
“This is the time for nationalists to unite to celebrate the national unity day,” he said.
“Under the influence of western powers country was declared a secular state. It was a disaster as far as preserving our unique identity was concerned,” said Prashrit.
Buddhi Narayana Shrestha- the border expert, “He did not allow British imperialists to advance towards north. He said that the southern rulers were witty and advised to forge intimate relations with the northern neighbor. He had also said that we should not allow the foreign traders to move north of Rasuwagadi. The present day rulers are signing one agreement after another. PTA and PDAs have been signed. Will this bode well for our country,” he asked.
2
“This is the right time for the Nepali Congress and the United Marxist Leninist to correct their past blunders. To begin with they can celebrate the national unity day,” urged historian Ramesh Dhungel.
“No one in our history except the great king has made serious contribution to preserve our sanctity,” opined Historian Surendra K.C. “Those who do not celebrate Posuh 27 as National Unity Day are anarchists,” said Professor K.C.
7
“We will force the government to celebrate the national unity day,” so declared former Nepali Congress leader Haribol Bhattarai.
Senior Vice Chairman of World Hindu Federation Arjun Prasad Bastola opined that the western powers are making Nepal into a ground for experiment by influencing to undermine Nepal’s Hindu identity.
National Unity Celebration Activist Bharat Basnet highlighted on the need to celebrate the national unity day and a public holiday on that day.
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“Their only objective is to make Nepal another Crimea.”
Telegraph Weekly online, 20 December 2014

Missing Border Pillar Number 8/A

Missing Border Pillar Number 8/A

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While I was in Mahendra Nagar three weeks ago, I had gone to Gaddha Chowki area for the verification of boundary pillars. From Bhimdatta (Mahendra Nagar) Municipality, we had gone to Gaddha Chowki, Banbasa and the river Mahakali area, the western boundary of Nepal by a three-wheeler. Getting off from the three-wheeler when we were marching ahead to border area, my friend Fannindra Nepal and other friends stopped for a while at the Gaddha Chowki Armed Police barrier area. But I was going ahead of them. I waited some minutes for them, at the very time Fannindra called me back to the barrier. He was talking with the DSP of Armed Police. The DSP had known me and he wanted to talk to me. When I met the DSP in civil dress, he told me that he was one of the participants while I had taken a training class on the border issues of Nepal in the Armed Police Force Headquarter at Halchowk some years ago. We talked about the situation of border line, condition of border pillars and clarity of No-man’s Land (Das Gaja) of Kanchanpur district. DSP told us that he will join us for the map to ground verification. He asked us to go by his vehicle. We were more than happy that he accompanied us and provided us the ride. We crossed the Gaddha Chowki and then an under construction Border Gate and crossed a channel.

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Then we got off from the vehicle to verify the map of the pillar, which is located just on the side of the channel. I verified the map which I had carried with me that it was Border Pillar Number-7. It was a low bulky shaped pillar neither similar to Junge Pillar nor other ordinary pillar. Then we made a direction to find out the forward pillar number-8/A, depicted on the map. We walked on foot for nearly half an hour and I estimated the approximate location of the pillar. At the very moment the DSP told me that it is missing. However, I tried to pin-point the exact location of the missing pillar. I pin-pointed the ground location of the pillar as shown on the map. ?????????? But the spot was dug out and it was water logging. And I confirmed that the pillar number 8/A is missing on the ground as there is a pit now.

112

The missing border pillars must be erected in situ as soon as possible by the joint team including the Surveyors of both the countries. It is the fact that 8,553 border pillars have been marked and delineated on the Nepal-India boundary map. Of these 916 Junge Pillars had been erected by during the British regime in India. Out of total 8,553 pillars 4,193 are still to be constructed. During the demarcation only 4,360 pillars had been erected. It is very sad that 499 pillars have been washed away by the rivers, 202 pillars on the land area are disappeared from the ground, 189 are dismantled/damaged and 684 pillars needs to be minor repairment. ??????????????????????????????? If the border pillars disappears and vanishes more and more, the border line will be blurred, and it makes the possibility of disputes between two countries. To make the evergreen relationship between two countries, the remaining pillars should be erected as soon as possible. 113 Disappeared pillars must be re-erected in its previous positions with the help of co-ordinates and documents. Damaged pillars must be repaired and maintained. All these activities are sooner the better for the people to people level relationship and friendship between Nepal and India. ♣ ♣

Cross-Border Mobility Between Nepal and India

Cross-border mobility between Nepal and India

Buddhi N Shrestha

 

(I have presented this paper in the International Boundary Conference entitled ‘Border Regions in Transition (BRIT-xiv) which was held in Arras and Lille in France and Mons in Belgium from 4 to 7 November 2014. Followings are the abstract and copy of my power point presentation) :

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Abstract
There is an open border regime between Nepal and India since centuries. This is unique in the world, in the sense that people of both countries can cross the international border from any point, many times a day without any interrogation, despite the existence of border check-posts at 26 locations. This type of cross-border mobility is being seen as a means of connection between the people of two countries. Life of both the frontiers have been linked and they are dependant each other. The mobility has enhanced the cross-border employment as well. This is understood as a source of innovation within the societies of both the nations.

The goal of this paper is to analyze the prospects and problems of free and unrestricted cross-border mobility. At the same time, it has to identify how the trans-border crimes could be stopped or minimized in connection to unrestricted cross-border mobility. It has been tried to suggest for alternative measures to stop the misuse of open border between Nepal and India. Emphasis has been given for the exchange of real-time information; and establishment of cross-border co-operation, co-ordination and collaboration mechanism, to make stop the unwanted activities along the open border.

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Objective
• To analyze, the prospects and problems of free and unrestricted cross-border mobility between Nepal and India.
• To identify, how the trans-border crimes could be stopped or minimized in connection to unrestricted cross-border mobility through the open border.
• To suggest, for alternative measures :
– to stop the misuse of open border and
– to minimize cross-border crime between Nepal and India.

 

Background
• Nepal is a landlocked sovereign state.
• It is situated between two emerging Asian giants, India and China
– On the north, there is the Himalayan range, as there is a regulated border regime with China.
– On the south, there are neither natural walls nor man made fences, as there is an open border system with India.

 

Cross-border mobility : A source of livelihood
• There is an open border regime between Nepal and India since centuries, as this is unique in the world.
• Cross-border mobility is possible due to good relationship and it is a means of connection between the people of two countries.
• People crossing the border for various activities in both the countries, is very high on daily basis.
• Livelihood of millions of people, living in both sides of the border, depends on that cross-border mobility.
• Nepal-India Peace and Friendship Treaty -1950 has agreed to grant privileges on matters of movement, on a reciprocal basis, to the nationals of one country in the territory of the other.
• Millions of people have a cross-border mobility every day between Nepal and India.
• For example, one single crossing-point Belahiya -Sunauli (Nepal- India) bears the following data in 2013 :

open border
• Nepali and Indian nationals use to cross the international border (no need of document):
• Approximately 832,000 Nepalis and Indians travelled from India to Nepal:
– 548,000 Nepali nationals
– 284,000 Indian nationals.
• Similarly 924,000 people had mobility from Nepal to Indian frontier:
– 680,000 Nepali nationals
– 244,000 Indian nationals.

 

Nepal-India relation
• Nepal and India have traditionally been close since ancient times.
• Nepal-India formal diplomatic relation was established on 17 June 1947.
• Nepalese and Indian nationals may move freely across the border without passport or visa/permit and may live and work in either country.
• Indo-Nepali model is found nowhere, as it has own speciality.
• Open border regime that has been existing from so many years, has become the most distinguishing feature of India-Nepal relations.

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Features of India-Nepal relation
Here are some identified features of the India-Nepal relation along the border:
Historical relations
• Nepal quelled the disturbances of ‘Sepoy Mutiny Revolt’ in India during British India regime in 1857.
• The then Nepali Prime Minister Junga Bahadur himself led the Gorkha troops in India and subsided the mutiny.
• India also helped Nepal to settle decade-long (1996 until 2006) Maoist insurgency that came to end in 2006 with 12-point Comprehensive Peace Agreement
• Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on 3 August 2014:
– There is no war that India won without the sacrifice and martyrdom of Nepali people.

 

Political relations
• The political relationship between the two countries goes back to the time immemorial before the period of British regime in India.
• Nepali political leaders and students had contributed to make India independent from British rule in 1957 such as:
– B P Koirala, Mana Mohan Adhikari, Ganesh Man Singh, Pushpa Lal Shrestha were involved in the fight against the British regime in India in the ‘Quit India’ movement launched in India by Mahatma Gandhi.
• Indian political leaders had contributed Nepal to bring democracy in 1950 as:
– Jayaprakash Narayan, Jawahar Lal Nehru and other had played a lead role to over throw Rana dynasty.
– Chandra Shekhar Contributed to regain the democracy in Nepal during 1990.

• Nehru managed to deal with Rana Prime Minister of Nepal for an agreement in 1950 with the consent of King Tribhuvan to bring democracy in Nepal.
• Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru helped Nepal in a movement against Rana oligarchy who were ruling Nepal for 104 years.
• Most recently, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during his visit to Nepal:modi
– ‘Our relations have not moved forward with mere documents but through the heart of our peoples.’

These incidents show the political relations between India and Nepal.

 

Family relationship
• Large numbers of families across the border are tied through marital relations.
• Nepalese girls have been the daughter-in-laws of Indians.
• Indian boys are the son-in-laws of the Nepalese and vice versa.
• Commonalities of language, culture, physical features (especially Tarai area of Nepal) make the open border regime in one sense more people friendly.
• Indian Premier Narendra Modi has expressed:
– ‘We are nurtured by the same mountains and rivers and bound by ancient ties of religion, culture and kinship.’

 

Business and livelihood relation
• The Indian market provides cheaper and better quality products for Nepalese citizens, in the border areas to do their daily purchases.
• Nepalis can sell their locally produced goods such as vegetables, dairy products, domestic cattle, etc to the Indian market, as there is the cross- border mobility.
• It has created an opportunity for enhancing economic benefits for the residents of both frontiers along the border.
• Cross-border mobility has provided employment to the people on both sides.
• Near about 6 million of Nepalis have been employed in India as:
– restaurant waiters, security personnel; and factory and domestic workers.
• Similarly, nearly 4 million Indians are getting jobs in Nepal as:
– fruit and vegetable vendors, plumbers, electricians, carpenters and masonry; and school teachers in remote areas of Nepal.

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Pilgrimage relation
• Indians visit Nepal on pilgrimage to the abode of Lord Pashupatinath, and Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha, Muktinath, Janakpur etc as the holiest places for both Hindus and Buddhists.
• Likewise, Nepalese pilgrims visit the holiest Hindu places of India like Kedarnath, Kashi, Gaya, Jagannath, Haridwar etc.

Indian Premier Narendra Modi has made a relevant expression:
‘There is a temple in Kashi (India) that has a Nepali priest and there is a temple of Pashupatinath in Nepal where priests are from India.’
• Cross-border pilgrimages have really contributed to strengthening friendship, mutual understanding as well as cultural relations.

People of both countries share common religious faith and philosophies, and revere and worship same gods and incarnations.

 

Socio-cultural relations
• People in both countries share many languages.
– Such common languages include inter-alia Nepali, Hindi, Maithali, Bhojpuri, Avadi, Sanskrit etc.
• Nepal and India both use Devanagari script in writing Nepali, Hindi and many other common languages.
• Many a religious texts, including the Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Tripitak are written in Devanagari script.
• People of both the countries observe similar cultural festivities such as:
– Durga Pooja, Deepawali, Holi, Mahashivaratri, Krishnaasthami etc in an equal enthusiasm.
• Close socio-cultural relationship between the people of Nepal and India is a great asset of both countries.
• Contributed not only cultural and traditional friendly relations; but also greatly promoting mutual understanding, appreciation each other aspirations, and cementing the existing ties of warm and co-operative neighbourhood.

 

Particularities of open border
• There is an open border regime between Nepal and India since centuries.
– However, there are prospects and problems of free and unrestricted mobility of people of Nepal and India across the international border.

• If we look back the border management of Nepal:
– It was a closed border system before the Treaty of Sugauli-1816.
– Regulated system was practiced with visa and permit after 1816.
– Open border was Started slowly and unknowingly after the restoration of the lost territory, as Naya Muluk or New Territory from the British India in 1860.

• However, permit was necessary till 1960, before the construction of highway linking Kathmandu and Raxaul.

• Interestingly, there is no black and white to make the border open.This is only the usage from both the sides.

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Reason to make border open
British Government kept the Nepal-India border unofficially open, primarily for three purposes:
1. To make easy to recruit Nepali hill people in the British army battalion.
2. To have easy and free access of British and Indian manufactured goods to Nepal and up to Tibet via Nepal.
3. To transport easily the raw materials from Nepal into India such as:
– timber and forest produce, herbs and medicinal plants, hides and skins, etc.

Whatever it may be, in the present context, there are positive and negative aspects of open border between Nepal and India.

 

Positive aspect of open border
There are positive aspects of the open border regime such as:

Convenience in movement:
• Open border has saved travelers time and energy to reach on their destinations on time.

Facility of quick response during hazard and natural calamities:fire
• There was fire hazard in Pashupatinagar of Ilam, Nepal on 6 June 2011. Fire Brigade brought instantly from Darjeeling (India) put off the fire.

 

 

Medical services facility:Eye hospital
• Indian frontier inhabitants could come to Nepal’s Sagarmatha Choudhary Eye Hospital, Lahan
to get the treatment without any obstruction.
• Hundreds of Indians including Sonelal Das (82 years old) got cataract operation on 9 October 2014.

 

 

Supply of local labours:cultivation
• Indian labours from Arariya (India) come to Nepal for paddy cultivation and harvesting without any restriction.

 

 

Immediate supply of food-grains.
• whenever one side of the border suffers from the severe shortage of food and daily necessities as consumer goods, the other side of the border is always there to fill in.

 

Competitive cross-border market:
• The local populace prefers to buy goods wherever they find them cheaper, for example:
– Nepali women customers of Birganj go to Raxaul (Indian town) for cheaper shopping of daily necessary.
• Indian citizens along the border come to Birganj (Nepali town) to buy cheap Chinese and third country (overseas) goods.

 

Facility of weekly market (Hat Bazaar)
• Frontier people of Nepali settlements go to Indian market for cheaper sugar, salt, spices, kerosene etc.
• Indian people also come Nepali weekly market to buy fresh fruits and vegetables and pure milk

 

Analysis of the problem of misusing open border
• Open border has been misused and it has become safe passage to criminals and terrorists.
• There are some challenges from free and unrestricted cross-border mobility as well.
• The unrestricted border has indeed been responsible for all sorts of criminal, anti-social and illegal activities.
• National security system of both the countries has been affected by the impact of this open border arrangement.
• Article-VII of Nepal-India Peace and Friendship Treaty- 1950 says:kakarbhitta
– ‘Government of India and Nepal agree to grant to the nationals of one country in the territories of the other the same privileges in the matter of movement of a similar nature.’

 

Reactions on open border system
• Newly elected Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi said on 27 May 2014: modi-koirala
– ‘Nepal and India should be mindful of mutual security concerns as they share an open border.’

 

• Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said during Chief Ministers conference in New Delhi on 21 April 2012:
– Open border with Nepal poses security challenges to Bihar. It needs center’s support to regulate the border to check cross-border crimes.

• Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjeet Rae has said on 12 February 2014 in an interview to the Kathmandu Post Daily:
– India and Nepal are very close friends and neighbours that share an open border.
– We have open border. Someone commits crime in one country and runs to the other.
– This is a problem for both countries.
– Open border has been misused by people who do not have the best interests of the two countries by heart.
– We have to set up our co-operation and co-ordination to ensure that the benefits are
maximized and the problems are minimized.
– Terrorism-related cases, fake Indian currency smuggling, gold smuggling and trafficking of protected species are at he specific areas of concern India has with Nepal.

 

Challenges of open border
Challenges are the other side of the same open border regime.

Misuse of open border :
• Open border system between Nepal and India has been misused by unwanted elements, though it was brought into operation with good intention.
• Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister of India has said on 28 July 2014:sushma swaraj
– ‘Open border has facilitated extremely close people-to-people linkages.
– However, this has also been misused for criminal activities in the border areas, such as human

trafficking,import and export of illegal drugs, smuggling of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) etc.
– We are also working with the Government of Nepal to jointly prevent such activities.’

 

Nepali authorities also have expressed concern over misuse of open border.parmananda
• Vice-President Parmananda Jha has said :
– ‘The open border between Nepal and India should be considered a boon for the two countries.
– However, Nepal and India should try to ensure that the open border was not misused by smugglers, terrorists

and criminals.’
• Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey has said in a seminar organized by the Institute of Foreign Affairs on 9 September 2014:
– ‘Our immediate neighbours expect Nepal’s active cooperation in not allowing our territory to be misused by elements inimical to them.’

 

Cross-border terrorism :abdul karim tunda
• Abdul Karim Tunda, one of India’s 20 most wanted top Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists,

was arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police from the Indo-Nepal border on 16 August 2013.
• Yasin Bhatkal, one of India’s most wanted terrorism suspect was arrested near India’s borderyashin bhatkal with Nepal on 28 August 2013. Bhatkal is the co-founder of the Indian Mujahideen, a militant group banned in India and listed by the United States as a foreign terrorist organization.

 

Trans-border crime :bablu dubey
• Indian criminal Bablu Dubey, who did 36 crimes in India sneaked Nepal through open border, was arrested by Nepal Police on 29 May 2013.

 

Trafficking of narcotic drugs :marijuana
• Indian para-military (SSB) seized, in Indo-Nepal porous border Patna Frontier, over 1,892 kg marijuana, 63.9 kg hashis, 1 kg brown sugar and 500 gm heroin worth total 1 million US$ in January 2011 alone.

 

Infiltration of third country nationals :
– Bangladeshi citizen use to cross Nepal-India porous border illegally in the disguised of Indian national (West Bengal).
– Such is the case from Pakistani, Afghani, Iranian citizens, as Indian (Uttar Pradesh State) nationals etc.
– Similarly, Bhutanese and Mynmarian citizens cross the border illegally in the disguise of Nepali nationals.
– If we stay and look for one or two hours in the Thamel street market of Kathmandu-
– we can identify such non-status third country citizens.

 

Transportation of fake Indian currency Notes :fake notes
Fake currency Notes come from third country via Nepal to India.
– Shekh Muhammad was arrested with Rs. 905 million Indian fake currency Notes on 7 June 2013.
– Aasin Miya was arrested with Rs. 6.9 million on 28 May 2012 in Bara district border.

 

Smuggling of gold:gold smuggling
• Nepal Police arrested Amit Sarraf of Raxaul, an Indian national, with smuggled gold in Parwanipur from Indian border bound bus on 19 May 2014.

 

Abduction of businessmen and their children :rathi
• Nepali industrialist Ganga Bishan Rathi was abducted from Biratnagar, Nepal and he was taken to Silguri, India and he was killed on 10 January 2013, after 23 days of his abduction.
• Nepali businessman Tulsi Ram Agrawal was abducted and taken to the other side of the border. He was released after the monetary negotiation

 

Illegal transportation of small arms :
• Police have arrested seven people with a dozen of small arms and ammunition from Morang, Sunsari, Jhapa, Saptari and Siraha within one month period, September 2013.pistol 2pistol

The Indo-Nepal open border, according to security personnel,

has helped in smuggling small arms manufactured in India.

 

Trafficking of girls and women :
Maiti Nepal, a social organization, rescued 264 girls and women (15-28 years old)maiti nepal

during 2013 in the Belahia-Sunauli border crossing point. They were supposed to be sold in Indian brothels.

 

Recommendation
Nepal and India should discuss:
• Free and unrestricted cross-border mobility should not be allowed any more, to eradicate illegal and criminal activities.
• It has to stop the misuse of open border in the changing security situation of the region.
• An alternative measure should be made, not to let misuse the open border in the present context.
• To stop the unwanted cross-border activities, Indo-Nepal border should be regulated slowly and unknowingly, step by step, in a phase wise basis as followings:
1. Deployment of security forces.
2. Monitoring by CCTV cameras.
3. Introducing ID card system.
4. Fencing the frontier.

1. Deployment of security forcedeployment
• Deploying border security force is an alternative provision to check terrorist activities, to stop the smuggling of goods, and to stop several undesirable and illegal activities.
• India has deployed 45,000 para-military force with the establishment of 466 border observation posts (BOPs) in the border with Nepal.
• Nepal also has deployed 5,300 Armed Police Force (APF) with 87 BOPs.

It can be regarded as the first step of adoption of regulated system.

2. Monitoring by CCTV cameras
A mechanism should be developed to monitor by the CCTV cameras.cctv
• CCTV and Digital Security Gate should be installed in a long but narrow corridor.
• Travelers should walk through that room speaking his/her name with caste, address, purpose of crossing the border and number of days he is travelling.
• It has to monitor, visualize and study his face, posture, dialect, way of walking, sequence of speaking on the computer monitor from inside the corridor.
• Doubtful traveler should be interrogated taking him to nearby small room. If he is found suspicious, it must be arrested for further inquiry.
• If he is a genuine passenger, he should be allowed to cross the border without any delay.
• If this mechanism is applied, half of the trouble created by open border will be minimized.

3. introducing ID card system id check
Most of the countries of the world have adopted ID Card system

• Introducing ID card system is pragmatic for Nepal and India, for the security reason, in a
phase wise basis in various crossing-points.
• Canada and USA has the open border system, but ID has to be produced while crossing the border.

4. Fencing the frontier
“Good fences make good neighbors.” -Robert Frostfencing
• It will be not too bad to erect barbed wire fencing between Nepal and India with 360 exit /entry points.
• It will also be easy to supervise the border and watch the illegal activities.
• Bangladesh and India (Tripura) has raised in 856 km. wire fencing.
• India and Pakistan have common barbed iron fencing (2,912 km).
But it is not a relevant time to introduce visa system because of the perspective of age old friendship

 

Conclusion
To materialize the above mentioned recommendations, following mechanism should be established to overcome on the misuse of open border:

Common action programme to accelerate connectivity
• Nepal and India need to execute integrated common action programs to develop on both the frontier regions collaboratively.
Develop further co-operation
• It has to develop further co-operation, co-ordination and collaboration mechanism by increasing the border vigilance, not to let misuse the open border.
Exchange of real-time information
• First hand information should be passed on to the concerned counter-part authorities to nab the criminal immediately.
Stress not to let misuse open border
• Nepal-India border must be restricted to the unwanted elements.

But there must not be any delayed for genuine cross-border mobility of the people of Nepal and India to cross the international border smoothly.

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The End

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