27 November - 3 December 2015 #784

Speak up

Chandra Shekhar Adhikary and Jagdishwar Pandey in Kantipur, 22 November

Diplomatic missions in Kathmandu seem to be unaffected by India’s blockade of Nepal.

The international community which is usually vocal about any political development in the country has surprisingly stayed silent on the current blockade.

A few countries have released individual statements expressing concern over the humanitarian crisis caused by acute fuel shortage, but the missions here have yet to condemn India’s actions.

Each day the Nepal Oil Corporation receives more than a dozen recommendation letters requesting supply of fuel to various embassies. The government has made special provisions to provide fuel to diplomatic missions.

According to an employee at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had the government not made such provisions, then the international missions would have been forced to speak up against the blockade.

The United Nations mission in Nepal has also kept quiet on the issue.

The SAARC Secretariat which is based in Kathmandu and is currently headed by Nepal has also remained silent. According to experts on diplomatic affairs, Nepal has failed to open a discussion on the subject through the Secretariat. The government has shown no concern towards making the diplomatic missions understand that the ongoing internal conflict and Indian blockade are two different things.

“It is Nepal’s responsibility to reach out to them, but so far we have not been able to do so,” says Bhesh Bahadur Thapa, former Minister of Foreign Affairs.