Yuwraj Ghimire debunked: “Next Door Nepal — China is welcome, India is not”


Note: Mr. Yuvraj Ghimire wrote an article in Indian Express explaining the scenario of Nepal. I, Mukesh, want to put my point wise disagreement as a comment to his write-up; so that readers can get complete picture of what is being discussed and decide for themselves. We expect journalism to be as objective as possible, bereft of any personal bias an individual has. And, also expect more objective unbiased articles from Mr. Ghimire in future.

Mr. Yuvraj: Last week, Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli laid the foundation of Pokhara international airport, Nepal’s second, being built with Chinese assistance and soft loan. Oli was joined by Maoist chief Prachanda and all major party leaders in a show of appreciation for the Chinese initiative likely to be completed in four years. And in a strange coincidence, this happened during a phase when Nepal-India relations have nosedived like never before.

Nothing would illustrate it more clearly than the “serves-you-right” response so visible in Nepal’s power corridor and intelligentsia when the Organization of Islamic Countries’ resolution on Jammu and Kashmir was challenged by India with a warning not to “interfere in its internal matters in future”. Nepal authorities had made a similar protest when India and the European Union had jointly asked Nepal to address inadequacies in its constitution at the end of last month.

China making much inroads into Nepal is something even the Indian authorities have come to acknowledge. But what divides the Indian response is whether it’s at the cost of India’s image, influence and interest in its crucially important neighborhood. Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar sarcastically “congratulated” Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for having successfully “pushed Nepal towards China”. In a piece with many “dos and don’ts”, Prem Shankar Jha suggested that India shouldn’t be treating Nepal like a “protectorate”. But the senior babus (some retired by now), who authored and literally dictated the course and agenda of Nepali politics since 2005 — with UPA political bosses visibly indifferent — continue to harp that “anti-Indianism” in Nepal is the doing of only a small group of “hill elites” confined to Kathmandu. That only shows the gap between perception and reality as anti-Indianism is visibly widespread from the hills to plains.

Madheshis and Tharus were protesting against the constitution promulgation and regression in the new constitution from what they were already enjoying in interim constitution that was promulgated in 2006. More than 50 people were killed in clash all over Terai and Madhesh, plains of Nepal. Does Yuwraj Ghimire imply that those protests were against India?

Mr. Yuvraj: Oli and the ruling coalition dominated by the Left are getting positive responses from the people across the country for having stood up to India, mainly for what it has “done without accountability in Nepal’s internal politics”.

Rhetoric of positive response is what writer wants other to believe. To say that, a government which has failed to build even a single house of earthquake survivor in a year’s period in earthquake affected areas, post devastating earthquake getting positive response cannot be true.

In addition, when grave violation of human right takes place in a neighboring country every day and people get killed by security force while protesting against the forceful decision of the government, it doesn’t remain ‘internal politics of a country’. See:

a. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015
b. Like We Are Not Nepali
c. Monitoring Report by National Human Right Commission Nepal: Human Rights Situation During the Agitation Before and After the Promulgation of Constitution of Nepal
d. Statement by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to the Human Rights Council’s 31st session:

Ten years after the end of the internal armed conflict in Nepal, there has been little progress in addressing its root causes, including entrenched ethnic and caste discrimination, unequal access to economic resources, extreme poverty and pervasive impunity. Unless these burning current issues, and past violations, are properly addressed, I fear that the country will continue to be at risk of further unrest, and even a new conflict. I urge the Government to conduct a full and independent investigation into recent violence in the Terai region, and to ensure a credible transitional justice process in line with international standards.

This is the central message of transitional justice. If past human rights violations are not adequately addressed, grievances and other issues at the root of the past conflicts will continue to fester, and may even lead to their recurrence.

Mr. Yuvraj: Although this doesn’t guarantee Oli’s survival in power for long, he’s praised by many for his efforts to oppose the “outside role” (that is, India’s) in Nepal’s politics and constitution-making. In fact, Nepal’s ruling coalition — which had continued to give some benefit of doubt, particularly to Modi, till recently — didn’t take kindly to the EU-India resolution on Nepal’s constitution in Brussels at Modi’s initiative.

Diplomatic fiasco can’t be termed as not taking kindly. Had ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Indian Ambassador for clarification, standard norm, it could be said so. Howwever, Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli was ranting in public function and at the same time issuing warning in similar fashion to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un warning The United States.

Mr. Yuvraj: The foundation laying of the Pokhara airport — a project that was agreed upon at the prime ministerial level during Oli’s visit to Beijing in March — was formalised with a rare show of solidarity among Nepal’s political parties. Nepal is already considering waving the visa fee for the Chinese.

Indian immigration, on the other hand, has already started “stamping” Nepali passports at airports, diluting the spirit of open boarders and hassle-free movement for all these years. The relation is clearly losing the much talked about “special” component. The two sides have hardly begun any exercise to address the misunderstandings and the visible fallouts.

Not true since both India and Nepal has formed ‘Nepal-India Eminent Persons’ Group’ to recommend necessary measures to replace, update, or scrap all bilateral treaties, including the Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950.

Mr. Yuvraj: Yet, Nepal’s leaders are more confused about how to go about this, since they have been the biggest beneficiaries of the “India-dictated changes”. They have been able to exercise absolute power without accountability — more than the king(s) did in the past.

To say Nepal transformed from bloody civil war to peaceful as India dictated change is gross devaluation of Nepali people’s aspiration. Nepali people were dying in dozens every day. No doubt, New Delhi facilitated but despot King Gyanendra for whom Yuwraj Ghimire is nostalgic even up to this day. (People’s movement defines Nepal)

Mr. Yuvraj: When India led the initiative for international support for the political movement in Nepal in April 2006, it had two ostensible concerns: First, since King Gyanendra was playing the China card, the Maoists and other key parties, minus the monarchy, would be a more favourable experiment. Second, India would for a long time have the lead role, if not a monopoly, in directing Nepal’s politics. Both have proven wrong.

Disclaimer: The original post has been taken from https://gapshupchautari.wordpress.com/2016/04/25/next-door-nepal-china-is-welcome-india-is-not/

– See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/k-p-sharma-oli-nepal-india-relations-china-is-welcome-2768662/#sthash.If4dJHtR.dpuf