By Dinesh Wagle
KALAPANI IS OUR LAND!
China has formally accepted the Indian encroachment of Nepali land Kalapani. In a revealing report published in today’s Kantipur daily and Nepal weekly magazine, Sudheer Sharma, editor of the magazine, states that in a recent trip to India, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao agreed on principle that Kalapani, Nepali land, is a part of India.
India has never been our friend in its more than 50 years of independence. It does not declare a war against us publicly or invade us openly but has always been attacking our sovereignty and our national integrity in various manners. There are problems in almost every point of the border. It has never stopped encroaching our land. Before India was independent, we proudly fought the war against the British rulers of India and won (at least we were never defeated). All those talks of Ram-Sita relationship and cultural proximity are rubbish. India, being so huge in terms of size and economy, never wants us to progress.
Now, it seems, China has followed the Indian line of ignoring sentiment of its small neighbors. The biggest irony is that when our royal and ‘nationalistic’ government was busy issuing countless press releases affirming its support toward One China Policy and stressing that Taiwan was an integral part of China, our northern neighbor was giving a thumbs-up to the Indian encroachment of Kalapani.
After seeing all this, I wonder why we are still adopting the One China policy. Why we are closing down offices of Tibetan refugees in Kathmandu? Why we are issuing statements supporting China’s anti-secession law targeted at the national sovereignty of Taiwan? It’s all about money. A game of money played by two emerging superpowers. We are paying the cost of their entertainment. Both of our big neighbors don’t want billions of dollars of business between them hampered.
It is strange that India, an emerging powerhouse, is playing such petty games with its small and literally ‘powerless’ neighbor. India is aspiring to expand its international role by becoming a permanent member of the UNSC Good. But is this how one becomes an international power? To be an international player, you have to have a big heart. India could be our most trusted neighbor, I still believe. Despite having this positive views towards India, millions of Nepalis like me feel deceived by such vicious Indian intentions that seriously undermine our national sovereignty.
I want to echo the sentiment contained in the question asked by Sudheer Sharma at the end of the Nepal Magazine story: “What the hell is our government that never stops claiming it to be ‘nationalist’ doing when the nation is experiencing such a huge loss?”
A summary of Sharma’s Nepal Magazine story in English (translation by Nepali Times):
When it comes to nationalistic agenda, the Nepali public has a tendency to rise in rage without rationalising. Unfortunately, this does not last long. Take the Kalapani issue. Both the government and the citizens had forgotten about it, but it seems to have remained in Indian memory. China’s agreement with India on Kalapani proves that along with the annexation of Sikkim after 30 years, China’s policy shift towards India will not just affect Nepal’s geopolitics but will also have adverse effects on many other Indo-Nepal issues. At a time when Nepal has opened its territory for transit for both China and India, they have together been putting Nepal in a very difficult position. During the Chinese premier Wen Jiabao visit to India last month, out of the 22 bilateral agreements, the border issue was regarded as the most significant and China reportedly approved India’s control over Kalapani. The border protocol agreement made to develop mutual trust between the two countries mandates two additional border meetings annually at Spanggur Gap in the western region, Nathu La Pass in Sikkim and Burn La in the eastern region. At these meetings, the Chinese army will have to come down to Kalapani and Nepal will just have to watch the Chinese and Indian flags fly over its territory.
Nearly five years ago, the Chinese ambassador had said in a press meet that Kalapani belonged to Nepal. It seems like China has given India the green signal for encroachment in Kalapani. China’s approval of Indian control over Kalapani came simultaneously with its support of Indian claim on Sikkim that China had been previously protesting.
China’s support for India is out of vested business and trade interests. Trade is the priority for Beijing, not the sensitivity of the geographical integrity of a buffer state. China seems to have accepted that Nepal is in India’s sphere of influence. Just like America and Britain are looking at Nepal through Indian eyes on the Maoist problem. But it cannot be denied that India does not want American presence in Nepal in the name of curbing the Maoists. Nepal is hurt with China’s move because it has always supported and respected China’s geopolitical integrity. Nepal has always backed China as is apparent from its closing down of Dalai Lama’s Nepal office and has supported the Chinese position on Taiwan. Nepal should have benefitted from the improvement in relations between her two powerful neighbours but it seems to have been punished. But while such serious events are taking place, the government is mute. We really have to wonder what the so-called nationalistic government representatives are doing about this issue.
10 Comments »
Wagle, I am really really sad to read this story.
*******Does this story relate to why KG was impressed by the statemanship of the Indian PM?
********Does this relate to the secret behind KG’s offer of the “transit” route to Indo-China trade?
********What does KG want now to do – exchange Nepal’s land for Indian weapons to kill the people???
Comment by Save Nepal (email@example.com) — 5/8/2005 @ 11:24 am
Good Points Save Nepal. I exactly had the same points that you have mentioned on your comments.
Comment by pashupati — 5/8/2005 @ 12:15 pm
The Himalayas are the border, agreed upon by the former British rajas
and confirmed by the first PM of India. Nobody chalanges the Chinese in Tibet, India doesn’t want neither the parties, the king or the maobadis to be dominant. They all trapped now, the king being disputed nationally and mistrusted internationally having doubtful records, the parties being corrupte and the maobadis and rna violating all rules.
Comment by CH — 5/8/2005 @ 12:47 pm
yes I agree with Mr Sudheer Sharma, who has indeed taken up the cudgels for the nationality and soverignty. But will sharma will be able to generate the patriotic feeling among all the Nepali civilians and pressuriz both the government troops and insurgents to unite and fight to reclaim the lost Nepali land -Kalapani at any cost. So I think writing an article about the issue is not enough, something must be done concrete to protect our entity, otherwise one day the whole nation will be engulfed by one of our so called neighbours.
I am ready to give my shoulder to those who can declare and a wage a stright fight in defence of our cause ( of course not to win but to let the world know that how consious we are for our sovereignty. We have already ceded our lands of Darjeeling and Doors to our neighbour.
It’s too much that every year we hear about one or the other VDC of Nepal on the boarderside being annexed by the so called neighbour in the name of good cultural affinity since a long time.
The big neighbours will always be guided by their own interest not by our small targets and interests. At least this is the time to show our bravado, lets rise and do something, if not at government level the at civil level to converge our disintegrating power and utilize it to show our strenght in unison.
Comment by hb thapa — 5/8/2005 @ 2:38 pm
If this story is true, definately great work by Sudheer. But there is no enough proof. [icd] in agreement there is not written Kalapani. How you justified it ? [icd] This is also a drama. [icd]
Comment by ram kumar — 5/8/2005 @ 3:02 pm
Ya, I am also upset to read it. Thanks to china because it solved the dispute very much efficiently coz nepal could be lingering many years to extract this answer from India.
This is the result of poor diplomacy shown by Nepalese democratic diplomats. [icd] TO ALL THE POLITICIANS WHO HAD BECOME FOREIGN MINISTERS EARLIER.
They created this condition ,we have to punish them by not allowing to win any seats on upcoming elections. HATE THOSE TRAITORS (DESHDROHI).
Comment by Daniel — 5/8/2005 @ 3:10 pm
Being the country is on fire, this news. We all were very known to India’s policy (What happened to SIKKIM????). But the REPUBLIC of China is also, verrrrrrry very sorry after seing the real face.
What all the Minister’s, Diplomats including P.M. given to us(Poor Nepalese).
I am very much agree with Mr. Sudhir Sharma, Deniel.
Let’s Hope for real ELECTION. At that time be HOSHIYAAR!! Don’t loose your oppertunity to choose the REAL ‘HUMAN’. Your One Stamp WILL AFFECT on Electing the RIGHT person.
Comment by Sabal — 5/8/2005 @ 5:56 pm
The thing most nepalese feared at last happened due to the so called “GREAT CHANGE” by our “GREAT” king who was really impressed by the “STATEMANSHIP” of the PM of India. Now we are getting to our knowledge of some of the gifts of him to India.
First the tranzit point and now Kalapani and then what – the rivers, maybe nepali citizenship for the Indian and no citizen for the real neapli people who are so called MADHISE by the so called nepali without knowing what the reality is? This king is selling our Nation. I can say this because listen to his great saying and watch it in the hoarding boards all around kathmandu?
Wow how great to listen to our “Mr.Saviour” but now we are knowing what our “Mr.Saviour” is doing? I just don’t wana talk about the self proclaimed leaders of the parties (cause there is no real politics so why to call political) and the another Mr. Saviour who is busy fighting himself.Now it happens when we are leaderless and powerless.
We can say nothing and do nothing and that’s why all are hitting sixes cause we got a very slow bowler and they are taking their chances not because they are so strong but because we are weak.Otherwise why can’t the all mighty USA attack the Korea which is smaller then Iraq and it is proudly proclaiming that it got WMD, that’s cause they are very strong although they are tryranic.Sikkim was taken by India cause mainly nobody liked the king or cared about him otherwise why is their almost no voice against the takeover?
Why tibet became so powerless cause the Dalai Lama believed that at least they won’t attack the so called Holy place as assured by Mao.But our self probclaimed leaders knowingly are supressing the fact that when it comes to National Interest the countries like india and china won’t mind in anything cause if they can set away their disputes they can be the superpower in around 30 yrs according to the datas and they just don want to get dispustes except when it comes to national interest, like china don’t want anybody to talk about taiwan.
So what we can do today is playing tactics and diplomacy cause war is certainly not the answer until it is the only means necessary but i don think india will want another kashmir when it is dearly wishing to solve it but they will want nepal to stay like this, waiting to get some curbs out of the delhi table by all means possible.What we as people can do is now make a new leader be born from the fire of revolution for our all rights which won’t be taken aback by any self proclaimed saviour or leaders.
We must know the matter of fact that there are able person everywhere and I personally think that only getting them out for us is the true roadmap to democracy and independence cause we mustn’t forget that this is the 21st century where Economics or money is more stronger then politics and Nepal as compared to it’s size got enough potential to have some reasonably good fortune and if we can really use it we won’t have to worry about the so called “emerging superpower”.
Thank you and let us all at least contribute to build our nation in a way where we would be really a FREE HUMAN BEING.
Comment by nepali — 5/8/2005 @ 7:51 pm
Indians can never be trusted.
Nepal must gradually reduce its dependancy on India in the matter of trade and business. We have to diversify our trade. Nepal cannot put her all eggs in one basket.
Trust India at your own risk. We Nepalese have to remember Kalapani always. Let us never forget it.
Comment by Budbak — 5/9/2005 @ 2:32 am
its sad to know the chinese view about kalapani. unforunate to be sandwiched in between these two selfish giants. but it shouldn’t be a surprise that our “nationalist” government is not reacting to it because our king would do anything to make india happy and rule. he wouldn’t mind giving away a bit of nepal as long as he gets the arms off India and and gets to stay in power.
Comment by yodam — 5/9/2005 @ 9:29 am