” He Who Laughs Last Laughs Longest ” – June 13, 2020.

          Nepalese Prime Minister,  KM Oli,  appears too keen to break the relationship with India. The legislative amendment passed in the Parliament on Wednesday (June 9, 2020) does not lend itself to any joint discussion between Nepal and India.

          Legislative amendment gives the right to Nepal of the geographical area covering Lipulekh pass on the western border extending over 400 sq km. This amendment needs to be approved in the Upper House and accepted by the Nepalese Leader. This change will remain sacrosanct without being changed or rescinded by either the present or future governments.

          The Upper House today (Saturday, just now, afternoon/evening) unanimously voted to amend the Constitution to update the Country’s new political Map, laying claim over the strategically key areas of Lipulekh, Kalapani, and Limpiadhura along its border with India.

          Now the Constitution amrndment will fructify the updating of the national emblem by incorporating the new controversial map.

          The bill will now be sent to the National Assembly where it will undergo a similar process. It requires 72 hours for the bill to be sent and its passage seems ‘certain’. Practically speaking, it is all over now.

          Peaceful discussions between India and Nepal seems unlikely at this juncture.

          Recent actions and announcements of PM, KM Oli, reflect the serious opposition he holds against the Indian Government. His statement in the Parliament that 85% of COVID-19 spread in Nepal is due to the return from India of people in large numbers and that it further caused a doubling of the disease in the last month reflects poorly on him.

          It is no surprise that just as the migrants from many areas in India left for their native homes, Nepalese working in various parts of India also left for their home country. 

          There is unrestricted movement of  people between India and Nepal. Living or working in the areas without valid permit or visas is almost the norm between India and Nepal.

          During the months of May and June (now) about 7000 to 8000 Nepalese people left India everyday. More than 2 lakh have travelled back to Nepal by trains or buses. Attributing this as the sole reason for Nepal contracting the disease and spewing hatred against India exposes and reinforces not just His (Nepal PM’s) bad intentions but also causes pain and harm.

          It is not uncommon to experience border disputes between countries that hold a long history of bond. In times like those the nations commonly engage in discussions to arrive at a peaceful end to the problems.

          India-Nepal  relationship is one that succeeds in keeping interest and attraction based on historical participation in food and marriages. The strengthened relationship witnessed through years have sustained due to these attractions despite the Nepalese leaders’ policy of Opposition to India.

          Nepalese Foreign Minister, Hon Pradeep Gyawali, sought fair discussions with India through exchanges based on the basic historical facts. It is perhaps a laugh-out-loud moment to seek out discussions after the legislative assent to the expropriation of 400 sq km in the Upper House on Wednesday. It makes clear that the facts of historical importance are not in favour of Nepal.  Hence, this decision, perhaps for a discussion.

          Sugauli agreement of 1816 between the East India Company and Nepal remains the basis that Nepal follows. Sarda river (Kali river) is the western border according to that agreement. But, in 1879 the map was redrawn after undertaking an intense land review. Based on that India subsequently released maps. Sarda river’s origin is Kalapani’s natural springs which joins the small branch from the Lipulekh pass. That Nepal has not refuted  the thesis or the argument till 1990  is significant.

          Second, following the Chinese siege of Tibet in 1950, Safety Blocks in the border between Nepal and China were erected by India according to their requests. King Mahendra of Nepal in 1969 gave the call for disbanding those safety blocks to India. That call did not make any reference to Indian Military Security  extensions in Kalapani. Historical evidences such as this do exist and can be cited.

          As expressed by the Uttar Pradesh, CM,  Yogi Adityanath, Nepal PM, KP Oli’s actions will only result in uniting Nepal with China as happened with Tibet earlier.

          Nepal now faces a situation where it has to make its choice between a friendly relationship with India or joining as a part of China.

          Nobody can be proud of what happens to the 400 sq km extension that Nepal has manoeuvred to put in its map. Who wins finally is what counts. He who laughs last laughs ‘longest.

 

   “Dieu avec nous”

   Saturday, June 13, 2020 – 6.09 p.m. (IST)

   Tidbit :  ” In Politics nothing happens by accident, if it happens, you can bet it was planned that way ” –  Franklin D Roosevelt.

 

 

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