News in Review: Nepal – October 15, 2015

Unrest continues in Nepal as protests remain in the Madhesi and Tharu regions, people struggle with fuel shortages and Nepali police forces experience clashes with Indian border security. Despite these moments of unrest, the country is trying to move forward with the election of a new prime minister from the Communist Party of Nepal-UML, who seems hopeful and confident that the government will address the remaining political issues. Meanwhile, Nepali Police and the government are trying to assuage the gas shortages with the implementation of a free bus service around the capital city and one-time sales of four gallons per vehicle until the shortage is over. Trade with neighboring Bangladesh has also been disrupted.

A New Prime Minister for Nepal

Communist Party of Nepal-UML leader KP Sharma Oli has been elected prime minister. India has welcomed the new PM, but promises to ‘wait and watch’ whether he addresses the concerns of Nepal’s minority groups in resolving their constitutional concerns.

Sharma, Bharda and Ellen Barry. “Nepal Elects K.P. Sharma Oli as New Prime Minister.” The New York Times. October 11, 2015.

India Welcomes Oli’s Election as New PM.” The Kathmandu Post.  October 11, 2015.

PTI. “India to ‘wait and watch’ as new Nepal PM takes charge.” The Economic Times. October 13, 2015.

India-Nepal Security Forces Clash

Indian border security and Nepali police forces have clashed recently. In the most recent incident, Indian border security officers are alleged to have dragged a Nepali police officer across the border and thrashed him.

Indian SSB men drags Nepal Police officer into Indian territory and beat up.” The Kathmandu Post. October 11, 2015.

Shortage Remains Despite Open Border

Fuel trucks are now entering Nepal daily, but still only amount to about 6,000 tons a week, 24,000 tons less than they are used to having. Government and police are trying to combat the fuel shortage with a free bus service in the capital and additional gas sales from China, but so far Nepal is still coming up short.

Fuel tankers, cargo trucks enter Nepal from India via Sunauli.” The Himalayan Times. October 12, 2015.

Nepal Police Begin Free Bus Service in Kathmandu.” The Kathmandu Post. October 12, 2015.

Gurubacharya, Binja. “Border between China and Nepal reopens after earthquake repairs; gov’t allows some gas sales.” Star Tribune. October 13, 2015.

Trade Troubles

Nepal’s trade with Bangladesh has been halted for the last two weeks since India is accused of enforcing an unofficial trade embargo. Bangladesh exporters say they are concerned about dispatching goods to Nepal for fear they will be obstructed by the Indian customs police.

Nepal Bangladesh Bilateral Trade Halted.” The Kathmandu Post. October 8, 2015.

The views expressed by Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice Interns are those of the author and are not necessarily those of the IPJ or of the University of San Diego.

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