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SAARC Diary: Nepal turning into a Chinese colony as PLA annexes Gorkha village

Venkatesh Iyer

His Master’s Voice: Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Bengaluru: Amid the Communist government-sponsored anti-India propaganda in Nepal, Beijing was reported on Monday to have moved in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into the Rui village in Gorkha district of Nepal and annexed it with Tibet, an “autonomous” region of the People’s Republic of China.

Nepal-based newspaper, Khabarhub, said the aggressive stance of Prime Minister Oli against India was an eyewash to suppress the events in Nepal’s own territory. In other words, Oli may be facilitating the Chinese colonization of Nepal!

How things change! Until 2008, Nepal was the only officially Hindu nation in the world; in the last 12 years, it has been gradually colonized by an atheist, expansionist and Communist China, much to the embarrassment of its devout Hindu masses who have had historic open-border relations with India for thousands of years. Sadly, the Communists are busy making Nepal a Hindu-dominated “Pakistan”!

With China itself tottering under the weight of declining economy, disintegrative forces, international opprobrium, and boycott as the global villain behind the coronavirus pandemic, Nepal faces an uncertain future. The poor nation had barely absorbed the overthrow of the monarchy in 2008, followed by a Communist Government, that clouds of uncertainty have begun to hover once again.

Kathmandu, which also houses the headquarters of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), has been amazingly aloof to guard the nation’s own interest. Its economy has been inextricably linked with that of India for centuries but servile Communists have virtually made it a satellite of China.

Recently, the ruling Nepal Communist Party lawmakers, headed by Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, endorsed a new political map showing Indian territories of Lipulekh, Kalapani, and Limpiyadhura as parts of Nepal, of course at the instance of its current master, China, which is adept at this cartographic diplomacy.

The Lipulekh Pass is a faraway western point near Kalapani, an undecided border area between Nepal and India. Both the neighbors consider Kalapani as their territory—India as part of Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district and Nepal as a part of their Dharchula district.

The Kathmandu Post, quoting the Ministry of Land Reform and Management, said the new map was drawn on the basis of the Sugauli Treaty of 1816 between Nepal and the then British Indian government, and other related documents, which ‘proved’ that Limpiyadhura, from where the Kali river originates, was part of Nepal.

India and Nepal are at a geographical loggerhead after New Delhi revoked the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir in November 2019 and the Survey of India published a new political map portraying both Kalapani and Lipulekh as India’s federally-managed areas.

The tension escalated in early May when India inaugurated an 80-km road link from Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh to the Lipulekh Pass to cut short by three days the pilgrims’ visit to Kailash Mansarovar, (90 km from the Lipulekh Pass). The Sarovar is seen by the Hindus as a sacred pilgrimage place at the junction with Tibet and China, passing through the Nepali territory.

Nepal claims it as part of its territory at the India-China Border. The final 4-km section of the thoroughfare is yet to be constructed awaiting clearance. India has protested against it saying it was wholly an Indian territory. About 97 percent of the boundary between India and Nepal has been demarcated with only portions on Kalapani and Susta remaining unresolved.

However, Nepal’s anti-India misadventure appears to be to counter the domestic opposition the current government faces due to incompetent handling of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, shattering economy, and rising unemployment. This stance, Oli believes, would serve as a perfect saving grace as he battles the opposition and secures his party and his position seizing every available opportunity to target India.

Infamous for his short-sightedness, Oli also ridiculed India’s national emblem and wondered if New Delhi was following the motto of “Simha Meva Jayate” (The Lion Alone Triumphs). He also blamed India for the spread of the coronavirus in Nepal calling it as “Indian Virus’ as if this would enhance his position.

Oli had spent 14 years in jail (1973–87) for opposing monarchy. He founded the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist) and is known to be under a greater communist influence.

Coordinating his efforts with China just three days after the bitter stand-off between China and India, Oli ensured the Parliament marked 62 square km area in the Kalapani region as Nepali territory.

Nepal even declined to attend the Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) military exercise hosted by India as Milex’18.

By 2018, China had invested 3 billion yuans on Nepal’s 25 projects. Chinese tourists are the second-largest source of foreign tourists visiting Nepal, which also enjoys an observer’s status in the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Nepal has signed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) framework agreements with China which India is yet to sign.