What does the PM have to say about ‘encroachment by China’?

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There are news reports about dangerous Chinese activities in Mount Everest region, capturing of 33 hectares of Nepali land by China in Humla, Rasuwa, Sankhuwasabha and Sindhupalchowk districts, capturing of Rui village in Gorkha: NC leader Bimalendra Kumar Nidhi

KATHMANDU, JUNE 23

While the Prime Minister has been trying to spark nationalism by alleging Indian encroachment in border areas with the southern neighbour in order to divert attention from allegations of poor governance, corruption and questionable handling of the coronavirus crisis, he has not uttered a word on encroachment of Nepali land by the northern neighbour.

Rui village is a case in point.

The village used to be part of Nepal’s Gorkha district until 1962, but after that it became Chinese territory and continues to be so.

An employee at Gorkha Land Revenue Office told THT over phone that residents of Rui village used to pay land revenue to the district until 1962 and the LRO had the record of those payments made to the government.

Bir Bahadur Lama, the chair of Ward 1 of Chumnubri Rural Municipality, Gorkha, said he heard from old people that Rui used to be part of Samdo village before 1962 and people from Rui and Samdo village used to travel frequently to both villages. Lama said he heard that some people of Samdo village who had property in Rui village migrated to Rui village after 1962. “I have heard from old residents that security personnel from both Nepal and China had gathered in the area to erect border pillars after which Rui became Chinese territory,” Lama said.

He added that since the border was demarcated by officers of both countries, it would be difficult for Nepal to raise the issue now. He said some family members were separated after 1962, with some family members living in Samdo and others living in Rui village. “I also heard that residents of both villages were asked to choose which village they wanted to live in. Some people who were living in Samdo later went to Rui village,” he added.

Chief District Officer of Gorkha district Surendra Paudel told THT over phone that Rui village had not been a part of Nepal since the border was demarcated between Nepal and China. Information Officer of Department of Survey Damodar Dhakal said he did not have information about Rui village being depicted as part of Nepal ever, but since the controversy was raised in the media, his department could look into it.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs must have all the records if the government had signed any document with China about border demarcation,” he said. He added that the government authorities could visit the area unilaterally, or jointly with Chinese authorities.

THT sent SMS to director general of the Department of Survey and spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the controversy, but it did not get any response form them till late night.

Meanwhile, Nepali Congress Vice-president Bimalendra Nidhi sought the government’s response on Rui village controversy and some other issues. “There are news reports about dangerous Chinese activities in Mount Everest region, capturing of 33 hectares of Nepali land by China in Humla, Rasuwa, Sankhuwasabha and Sindhupalchowk districts, capturing of Rui village in Gorkha and Chinese army personnel coming to Nepal on the pretext of assisting Nepal to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. The government must respond to these news stories,” Nidhi wrote in twitter and Facebook posts.

Nidhi told THT that at a time when the Parliament session was on, the government must respond to these news reports of encroachment by the northern neighbour. “The government must tell the public whether these media reports are true or false,” he said. He added that he was perplexed that nobody was seeking the government’s response on these serious issues. Nidhi said recently a Chinese government-owned television channel claimed that Mount Everest was part of Tibet Autonomous Region of China. “Although the Chinese television channel later deleted the post, the government must tell the public about it because many people do not know if the Chinese TV channel later deleted the claim from social networking sites,” Nidhi added.

Nidhi said last year the government entered into an agreement with China whereby China would send a few thousand Chinese teachers to teach Chinese language in Nepal’s schools. He added that this was in violation of curriculum guidelines prepared by Nepal’s Ministry of Education. Nidhi said the government must respond to this controversy also.

There are news reports about dangerous Chinese activities in Mount Everest region, capturing of 33 hectares of Nepali land by China in Humla, Rasuwa, Sankhuwasabha and Sindhupalchowk districts, capturing of Rui village in Gorkha • NC leader Bimalendra Kumar Nidhi.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 24, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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