Nepal News in Review
This past week senior Nepali leaders spent time in India and London trying to resolve the border blockade and diplomatic tensions. While in London, Nepali Congress leader and lawmaker Udaya Sumsher Rana alleges that British officials told him it was inappropriate for senior Nepali leadership to show aggression towards India. Furthermore, Indian Minister of External Affairs told Nepali Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa the only barrier to trade with Nepal is Nepal’s own political situation. The political situation in Nepal is creating a humanitarian crisis as residents, and particularly children, are going without basic needs due to India’s border blockade and Nepal’s internal strife. Bangladesh and China are both working towards agreements with Nepal to meet some of the growing needs, but estimates suggest that millions of children are at risk.
Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa met Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi early last week to discuss India’s border blockade with Nepal. Swaraj assured the prime minister that there were no hindrances to supplies from the Indian side and Nepal only need normalize their political situation to get the supplies they need. Meanwhile, Nepali Congress leader and lawmaker Udaya Sumsher Rana met with British officials in London during the International Leaders Programme, where they discussed Nepal and India’s diplomatic tensions and the growing humanitarian crisis.
Pkharel, Nabin. “Uk officials blame nepal’s diplomatic failure for border blockade.” The Kathmandu Post. Novembe 30, 2015.
“Thapa meets Swaraj, India retells Nepal to normalise political situation to ease supplies.” The Himalayan Times. December 2, 2015.
The humanitarian crisis in Nepal is worsening as winter nears. UNICEF has claimed the crisis is putting millions of children at risk due to shortages of food and vaccines. The Accountability Watch Committee, a human rights committee based in Nepal, made submissions last Monday to the UN Special Rapporteurs on “the negative impact of unilateral measures on the enjoyment of Human rights,” asking them to intervene and stop the blockade so Nepali citizens can continue enjoying their human rights.
“AWC seeks UN Special Rapporteurs’ intervention in ‘India blockade against Nepal’.” The Himalayan Times. November 30, 2015.
“Nepal shortages put millions of children at risk, says Unicef.” The Gulf Times. November 30, 2015.
China & Bangladesh to Aid Nepal
China and Nepal have reached a tentative agreement on the long-term importation of oil from China into Nepal. Also, Bangladesh Ambassador to Nepal Mashfee Binte Shams said his country would provide a transit facility for any petroleum products from third-party countries.
“Bangladesh ready to provide ports to Nepal for fuel import: Ambassador Shams.” The Himalayan Times. November 30, 2015.
Khanal, Rajesh. “Nepal, China Reach ‘Tentative Pact.’” The Kathmandu Post. December 1, 2015.