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Unofficial blockade

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Containers carrying essential commodities have been halted in the Indian border town of Raxaul as Madhesi parties stage sit-in in the middle of the Raxaul-Birganj road. Photo: Suresh Bidari.

Has India really imposed an economic blockade against Nepal as it did in 1989? Kathmandu is now seeking answer to this question from New Delhi.

Nepal’s acting Foreign Affairs Minister Khag Raj Adhikari on Friday sought clarifications from Indian ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae on why Nepali tankers and containers are facing difficulties at border points.

Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is yet to release a press note on how Rae replied to Adhikari. But India’s Ministry of External Affairs has issued yet another press statement, saying it is aware of obstructions (of freight movement) at various entry-exit points at the India-Nepal border but blamed unrest, protests and demonstrations on the Nepali side for this.

India denied imposing a blockade but said: “As was already said on 21 September 2015, our freight forwarders and transporters had voiced complaints about the difficulties they are facing in movement within Nepal and their security fears, due to the prevailing unrest.”

After Nepal promulgated its new constitution on 20 September without the consent of Madhesi parties, India has expressed its displeasure in a way never seen before since 1990. It has urged Nepal to amend the new constitution by securing ‘widest possible agreement’.

India’s latest statement read: “Nepal’s leadership needs to address the causes underlying the present state of confrontation credibly and effectively. Issues of differences should be resolved and institutionalized with broad-based ownership and acceptance.”

Although India has denied imposing an economic blockade, Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has not been able to import fuel since Thursday. There are also reports about Indian security force manhandling Nepali tanker operators who crossed over the border to bring fuel.

India says the blockade is because of political unrest in the Tarai. Madhesis and Tharus who have disowned the constitution have blocked border entry points and the East West Highway to cut off supplies to Kathmandu to force the NC-UML-UCPN (M) to address their demands.

But India has unofficially sealed its border even in the eastern Nepal where there are no protests by Madhesis and Tharus. Janajatis who are also unhappy with the new constitution have already called off their strike following confrontations with local people. But more than 200 containers carrying clinkers, marbles and vegetables are stuck in Panitanki across the Mechi River and continue to wait clearance from Indian authorities.


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22 Responses to “Unofficial blockade”

  1. higd on Says:

    why is india listening to these madesh parties who themselves didn’t get votes from madeshi people in last election?! let there be another election and see how they do this time.

  2. BKD on Says:

    Why making Anti-Nepali image of India? If India pushed for unofficial blockade then it would stop the Indian companies to send materials Nepal? Is it happened? No, as the tankers already there at the border. Please dont be biased. By trying to save the face of uncapable Nepali govt you are agitating the people of Nepal against India. Both the country share a good relation from centuries.

  3. kg on Says:

    As always Pahadis tend to blame others for their shortcomings and then what is better way than blaming India. Pahadis will never accept that the problem lies within and not outside. If tarai residents decides to block kathmandu then nothing can be done by them except to use force and killings to suppress their voices.

  4. SK Jha on Says:

    Laughable news . If you discriminate between people , this is going to happen. Stop blaming India for the wrong done by your politicians.Indian has given equal right and representation to its people. Nepal should first understand what is true democracy.

  5. @JotkaLuru on Says:

    hey. Stop it man. This is ridiculous! Jealous neighbour!

  6. Rabin Paudel on Says:

    It should stop I agree, but jealous of what? I hope it has a meaning.

  7. @JotkaLuru on Says:

    of what not?

  8. M. Akram Khan on Says:

    Nepal is a small but proud member of the comity of nations. Its independent statehood is deeply rooted in ancient history. When the entire South Asian subcontinent was prostrate under the colonial rule and had practically lost its identity, the Nepalis valiantly safeguarded their nation-state. Lately, unfortunately, they have been passing through a rough patch. The unsettling conditions caused by change in the system of governance followed by devastating earthquakes and the upheaval of framing a new constitution could have rattled any country. There is not the slightest doubt that the resilient people of Nepal will overcome all the hurdles in their way and emerge as a strong and vibrant nation . They, however, need and deserve all the goodwill and sincerity from their neighbours. This is no time for foreign interference, blackmail, arm twisting and trying to create friendly constituencies. Given time and left to themselves, the Nepalis will find lasting solutions to all their problems. We Wish them all the luck!

  9. Yam on Says:

    I support the blockade, it should have done long back. But why is India supporting the protesters by feeding them and asking them to stone Nepal Police??? Disgusting Indian Politics.

  10. fucchey on Says:

    Indian hypocrisy. Look at this video of PM Modi talking about Indian policies on recruiting naturalised citizens in its government, one of the ‘amendments’ it so casually imposed on Nepal.

  11. KiratRed on Says:

    Nepal is not a landlocked country, it’s an India locked country! If our leaders had any brains and love for the motherland they’d build two super highways, one to Khasa and one to Kerung. Let’s do it for our future generations even if we have to suffer now at the hands of India’s machinations.

    India never wants to see a strong, independent Nepal – they want Nepal to be always weak – so that they can impose their will on Nepal. They’ll help Nepal now and then when we request it e.g. Earthquake but they can’t deal with a Nepal that doesn’t need help and bend to their will!

  12. susuweng on Says:

    Turn to china for economic relationship. indians think that they can play around with any himalayan nation? this is frustrating.

    *This comment has been edited.

  13. M. Akram Khan on Says:

    The road map of Indian intrigues in Nepal is increasingly reminiscent of of its handiwork in East Pakistan ( now Bangladesh ) in 1971. In order to blackmail the Nepal govt, India will gradually tighten the blockade while encouraging the protesters to turn to violence. Then at a suitable time, the indian soldiers, in civilian clothes, will join the violent mobs posing as Madhesis and Tharus. As a result of the violence engineered and fomented by the Indians, the peaceful citizens of border areas in Nepal will be forced to leave their homes and flee across the border for safety. India will, then, shout from every roof top in the world that it has been flooded with Nepali refugees and that it is unable to cope with the chaos. Pleading the cause of security of its border and citizens, it will send its armed forces into Nepal. While an obliging world will watch and restrict itself to passing resolutions, India will occupy Nepal, install a puppet regime, give it a constitution tailored to Indian interests and magnanimously withdraw to its own territory. The puppet regime, in due course, will find ways to cede a chunk of the border territory to India as a reward for its support. Long Live the Biggest, Most Peaceful Democracy, aspiring to a seat in the United Nations Security Council!

  14. yam gurung on Says:

    I wonder why India,wants to behave like there British colonial master?

  15. Mohan on Says:

    If Nepal plans to sit in the lap of China, another Tibet is on the way. Good luck with new constitution. You will have a new communist rule. You will not be permitted to enjoy your fundamental rights. So choose and select wisely what you want for future generation.

  16. Andy on Says:

    Don’t think China is any Saint. They are pretty much a dictatorship. Do not forget what they are doing to our fellow Tibetans.

  17. prakash on Says:

    hey guys stop bickering. nobody is here to blame any body. its just that we cant change friends. alas. this neighborly treatment cannot be imagined in say Europe an evolved society. Switzerland , Austria are landlocked but they are blessed with awesome friends, we are still part of third world which is casteist and communal, so guys nobody from either side of the border needs to gloat or be smug. but at the same time nobody should feel that terai belongs to only madhesis it belongs to every nepalease as nepal belongs toevery madhesis. lets embrace and hug each other. Casteism which is a menace and our shared legacy, which I condemn. Its time to talk about meritocracy and mutuality. I am from chettri community, so what (did any one apply to god for the choice of their birth)I have seen friends from madhes and janjatis forge ahead because of their education and aptitude than me and accept it. We rare striving for better future and the progress will testing, painful, evolutionary , tiring , refreshing, steady and especially dignified and respectful. So soodji there are no fix-quick here. Let Nepalease find our path and journey together

  18. namah on Says:

    @Andy: one line summary of our troubles…nepal is caught between a rock and a hard place…

  19. Tashi Lama on Says:

    For the land locked country like Nepal, blocked either official or unofficial it indeed is not acceptable, it is indeed is inhumane. Biggest democratic country like India should understand it clearly and stop this acts of blockading.

    However, what I have to say here is that: Nepalese people shouldn’t be making judgement just seeing the surface of this dirty political ocean, as I can see that many favours China’s new friendship and starts hating India. This is totally wrong, it is because majority of Nepalese don’t understand the depth of China’s cruel politics of domination and colonization, Tibet and Xinjiang is such an example.

    If we look at India, democratic government of India has lesser influence on Nepal’s constitution than the BJP party of India and Shive Sena party, which is why the obstacle had been created to have Hindu nation, which is supported by Kamal Thapa and his royalist in Nepal. People of Nepal need to think and analyze and make proper judgement in between India’s and China’s friendship. As we can see these days in Jyatha and Thamel areas of KTM, it is almost turned like China town within few years, where locals are having hard time competing with the Chinese counter parts. Eating chowmein seems delicious but in the long run it will create stomach cancer, Nepalese should understand this, I think it would be safer to improve relation with older friend India and eat organic Dhal Bhat.

    Nepal as a Hindu state is not acceptable at all but Nepal with closer ties with India is important and acceptable. Beware!! Chinese are much more cruel and cunning, watch out Nepal and Nepalese!!

  20. Dilip shakya on Says:

    india is making its image very bad for this time and doing something what is not supposed to be done.apperently this is going to get more messy as time passes by, so all the involved people should think wisely before they ACT.

  21. Nirtech Nirjal on Says:

    We should try contacting to our other foreign friend nations for petrol and disels

  22. Shatrughan on Says:

    Still the people wants gas for their kitchens n diesel for industries n vehicles from other countries.why dont they think n plan of hydro power producing 40 thousands megawatt of electricity minimizing the need of gas in our kitchens,electric vehicles like tram n train for public transportation.its eco friendly non polluting n foreign currency saving.

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