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Blockade against Kathmandu

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015
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Madhesi leaders brief journalists about their decision in Rajbiraj on Wednesday. Photo: Shrawan Kumar Deo

A day after India issued a veiled threat to impose an economic blockade against Nepal, Madhesi and Tharu parties have decided to cut off supplies to Kathmandu.

A meeting of Madhesi parties, which began in a hotel in Rajbiraj and ended only on Wednesday morning, decided to intensify their protests over the new constitution. They threatened to impose a blockade against Kathmandu by disrupting the East West highway more effectively.

Madhesi parties also decided to close down all government offices, particularly banks, cooperatives and customs offices. At a press conference held in Rajbiraj on Wednesday evening, Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) Chair Upendra Yadav said: “We have decided to join hands with Tharus and Muslims to put more pressure on Kathmandu.”

Tharus have also decided to intensify their protests. A joint struggle committee formed by Tharu political parties and social organisations on Wednesday decided to block the east-west highway even during the nights and cut off supplies of daily essentials to Kathmandu.

“We will use all our strength to block the highway 24 hours,” Dhani Ram Chaudhari, coordinator of the Tharu struggle committee, said.

Madhesi and Tharu parties seem to have been emboldened by India’s statement on the new constitution endorsed by Nepal’s Constituent Assembly and promulgated by President Ram Baran Yadav.

India has not welcomed the new constitution, reportedly demanding representation of Madhesis in proportion to their population, inclusion of the five dispute Tarai districts in Madhesi provinces, rights for naturalised citizens to assume constitutional posts and revision of electoral constituencies in every 10 years.

India has also issued a veiled threat to impose an economic blockade against Kathmandu, citing problems facing Indian transporters and other companies due to the prolonged Tarai tension.

India has urged major political parties to write the new constitution with ‘widest possible consultations’.  Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, UML Chair KP Oli and UCPN (M) Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Tuesday held talks with Madhesi leaders Mahanth Thakur and Bijay Gachhadar. But a deal with Madhesi parties does not look in sight as yet.

In the east, Janajatis have called off their general strike imposed from 20 September. They have vowed to carry out their protests in a different manner.

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17 Responses to “Blockade against Kathmandu”

  1. Shree Shrestha on Says:

    These Madhesi leaders will not be satisfied until all southern districts of Nepal become part of India.

  2. gaurav on Says:

    Blame it on India. When you have problems call India, then later abuse it for its big brotherly attitude. Get a grip. It seems Nepali leaders from hills played a game after constantly failing to get a constitution going. India always had stake in game when you Nepal was not able to sort out things. Now you call it intervention and threat !

  3. Desh Bhakti on Says:

    But I was wondering why India did not help Butanese refugies (Nepali speaking Butanese) decades ago while Nepali speaking Butanese wanted political representation in Butan. All these refugies are now settled in all over the world mostly in the USA but no one in India. This led me to believe further that India will grab Nepal one day in the future. I also believe India must give away Sikkim, Deharadun, Darjeeling, Assam to Nepal in order to solve the current situation. India will get their people and part of Madesh (Hindi speaking area) and they can look after Madhesi people, give them political representation in India.

  4. Sanjit Singh on Says:

    Madhesis should separate from Nepal and make a separate country if their demands are not met. Let us create “Madhesiland” as a new country.

  5. aaryan mahatma on Says:

    big 3 parties had done so many mistake in past by approving the demand of indian migrant still doing fatal decision . Giraja is not now so tomorrow this leaders also may not there but our successor will get pain many times by india and his egents

  6. yam gurung on Says:

    I am no at all surprised, why India wants to behave like their British colonial master?
    East vs West Pakistan,India vs Pakistan Kashmir,India vs Sri Lanka,India vs Bhutan,now India vs Nepal?
    Surely it is not like China vs Tibet?
    I wonder,what the Indian government up to next???…

  7. M. Akram Khan on Says:

    India has a long history of taking advantage of its smaller neighbours and trying to benefit from their difficulties whenever it can. In 1962, during India – China war, Pakistan did not create any problems for India. The Indians, however, rewarded this good gesture by attacking Pakistan in 1965 as soon as they had recovered from their defeat from the Chinese. Nor did they let the opportunity of severing the Eastern half of Pakistan pass by unavailed in 1971. Even now RAW, the spy agency of India, is fully involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan. Similarly, Indian intrigues in Sri Lanka and Tibet are well known. The Indians should remember that by stabbing every neighbour in the back, they will have no friends in the hour of their need.

  8. Yogendra on Says:

    India’s stance on Nepal and Nepali’s in general is confusing and worrying. In many ways India has been a good neighbour to Nepal, always ready to help when help has been requested e.g. Turkish Airlines incident, Earthquake relief…however I’m not sure India wants a strong, independent Nepal. When Nepal finally achieves a long sought after constitution -warts and all – India suddenly has a problem! Does India recognise Nepal as a sovereign, independent nation? Sure they can express their concerns about the Madeshi demands but to impose an economic blockade?

    As one commentator noted, India did not seem worried at all about the tens of thousands of Nepali origin Bhutanese citizens being forcibly kicked out of Bhutan – an ethnic cleansing exercise that India turned a blind eye to. It’s actually strange that the Nepali origin Bhutanese found their way to Nepali refugee camps via India as Bhutan and Nepal share no borders! India tacitly facilitated the ethnic cleansing!

    Would India tolerate Nepal voicing it’s concerns about the marginalisation of ethnic Nepalese living in Darjeeling, Sikhim, Uttaranchal, Himachal etc? I don’t think so!

    India’s happy to see a permanently weak Nepal that it can aid now and then as a ‘friendly big power’…but it’s afraid to see a strong, independent Nepal and will act to prevent this.

  9. navin grg on Says:

    I m not a political person but what irks ans upset me the most is how on earth the people of nepal have overcome the dangerous earthquake where the tiny himalayan nation was torn apart by the recent earthquake many died many lost thier shelter many lost thier loved ones the one who survived living with un certain future ahead. My point is , are these people forgeten with time moving on does the new constitution really will matter them ,is this the right time for the people singing dancing with the new constitution tune : do they deserve to face the economic border blockade by the madeshis stopping all the essential goods reaching all the hills and himalayan where the earthquake survivors and destruction are still in fresh….

  10. KiratRed on Says:

    Wonder if the report that the Madeshi protesters burnt the Chinese flag is true! If so why?!

  11. namah on Says:

    @khan: pls don’t use this opportunity to tlk about indo-pak relationships…we know how that goes…if you have something to say positve today, say it, else everyone can butt out.

  12. ankkkkkkk on Says:

    hey ppl first thing y u ppl r not giving right to ur minorities?

  13. shyam on Says:

    It is very sad to hear of any kind of protect, which effects common people but one’s right should not be curtail. This concept of dual citizenship based on race and creed is deeply flawed concept in 21st century. It is ironic that the country coming to democracy from one family rules adopted a constitution which does not include everyone. As a human being every one has equal right

  14. shyam on Says:

    At yogendra. Nepali or gorkhali as they like to called themselves here are equally citizens, they are not issued different citizenship based on their race. All indian have equal rights in the eyes of constitution. Ten of thousands of Nepali citizens lives and works in India progressively and for action of the another country, India cannot be held accountable

  15. Ashok Sharma on Says:

    Ya, its a fact that India has always been helping Nepal in all aspects but it is also known that all those were selfish ones. Nepal, being poor economically asks India for help and India helping nepal always sought for resources of nepal like rivers. isn’t it a selfish one. slowly and slowly it has been taking our nepali land without even letting anyone know it. But economic blockade to country like Nepal isn’t a good act. India will once regret as they will have no friends left in the time of need as it always have a conflict with many countries. India should also remember that most of the Nepalese had fought to make their country independant by fighting against the British and act accordingly. What happens if their needs are not fulfilled? they could solve it with understanding. Not only that, Nepal should also try to address the indian demands or solve the problem mutually. it should also not forget that India is one of the nepal’s largest supporter. It shouldn’t let we like innocent nepalese suffer of the blockade or it should manage petroleum products and other goods to the citizens.

  16. Professor Bishnu Pathak, PhD on Says:

    The present crisis of Nepal, rather than being homegrown, has been imported from India. All agitating Tarai-Madhes leaders accepted that they are being backed by India. That is why people of Nepal are pressing the Government not to bow down their heads in front of India. There is a huge voice to take stern action to Ambassador Rae against the Goebbels’-style reporting. The whipping up of anti-Indian sentiments shall only be stopped once India lifts up the transit blockade and makes a public apology in front of the people….(For more on Impacts of India’s Transit Warfare against Nepal shall find linking in https://www.transcend.org/tms/2015/10/impacts-of-indias-transit-warfare-against-nepal/)

  17. Update on Crisis in Nepal | ISIL on Says:

    […] Federal Nepal. Intensifying their protests at the end of last month, agitating groups decided to cut off supplies to the capital by blocking the highways and custom points from where goods enter the country and eventually […]

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