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Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

The Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum is a venue to discuss issues pertaining to India's security environment, her strategic outlook on global affairs and as well as the effect of international relations in the Indian Subcontinent. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby Prem » 19 May 2016 23:03

Oli Get 900% Paki disease
‘Ambitious’ PM now talks of self-reliance in petroleum

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today said that the government was moving on the path to self-reliance by producing petroleum products within the country, within next two years./b]
Inaugurating the 8th national general convention of the Press Chautari Nepal, the organisation of journalists close to his CPN-UML party, the PM informed that petroleum deposits had been found in Dailekh. He also mentioned that an iron deposit was explored in Nawalparasi district and it would generate an income of over Rs 10 billion annually, if extracted and used properly.[b]Of late, the Prime Minister has been drawing flak from members of the public for talking about various ambitious projects, but failing to speed up actions in reality.He, however, has been making new propositions in almost every public function he speaks in.

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby Prem » 03 Jun 2016 02:42

http://thehimalayantimes.com/business/n ... -10-years/
Nepal requires $20bn to develop 10,000 MW in next 10 years

( Sure,K.Paki Oli can just print money on his Chinese Machine)
The Nepal Power Investment Summit 2016 concluded today with a declaration that Nepal requires $20 billion to develop 10,000 MW on grid hydropower projects in the next 10 years. The power investment conference was organised by the Energy Development Council (EDC) — the umbrella organisation of the energy sector — in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Investment Board Nepal.The summit also declared that the country would need investment of $5 billion for high voltage transmission line projects to be completed within 2035. The Budhigandaki 1,200 MW, Nalsingad 410 MW, Tamor 762 MW, Andhikhola 180 MW, Tamakoshi V 87 MW, Upper Tamor 415 MW, Tamakoshi III 650 MW and Thuli Bheri 530 MW projects have been identified as prominent opportunities for investors, says a statement issued by the EDC.
Investors expressed interest to explore investing in mid- and large-scale power projects in Nepal worth billions of dollars provided the investment environment improved and Nepal’s ranking in the ease of doing business increased. They have also expected to soon have a one-window policy to get all necessary approvals and permits for doing business.EDC also launched a book ‘Inventory of Rivers of Nepal’ that identifies 11,614 rivers and rivulets during the summit. The council has said that it will soon carry out a study on the potential of developing hydropower projects in those rivers and rivulets in the second phase.Aliana B Teplitz, ambassador of the US to Nepal, stated that despite having a huge potential of generating more than 40,000 MW electricity, the installed capacity of Nepal is merely at 780 MW. “There is still a huge room for development.” She stressed on the need to have better policy and legislation to improve the present scenario.During the conference, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) mentioned that projects with combined capacity of 1,330 MW are under construction and will be completed by 2020. “We need to invest about $20 billion in the next 10 years to generate 10,000 MW,” said Lila Nath Bhattarai, deputy managing director at the Engineering Services Directorate, NEA. NEA also said that they faced various geological problems, technical problems in structures and other natural calamities.Nooy further stated the government needs to introduce a more transparent regulatory framework with more satisfactory returns in order to attract foreign direct investment for economic transformation.There were more than 200 participants from China, US, Canada, Bulgaria, Norway, India, Bhutan, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Thailand, Vietnam, France, Austria and UK, among others, at the summit.

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby Prem » 04 Jun 2016 02:37

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kishor-pa ... 77700.html
South Asia at High Risk of Terrorism, Nepal Could Be Safe Heaven
igh Risk in Nepal Because of Indo-Nepal Open Border

Nepal is a small mountainous country surrounded by China to the north and India to the south, east and west with the total land area of 147,181 km2. Nepal has experienced no significant acts of international terrorism yet. Although its open border with India and weak controls at the border is raising concerns that international terrorist groups could use Nepal as a transit and possible staging point. The Indo-Nepal border is open. Nepalese and Indian nationals can move freely across the border without passports or visas and can live and work in either country. People of both the countries can cross the border at any point, despite the existence of border check posts at several locations. The whole length of the border is not monitored; illegal movement of goods and people is a common feature on both sides. Criminals commit crimes in either country and cross the border to hide and escape punishment. Terrorists with illegal arms and ammunitions can cross over to Nepal easily.
According to the report, the number of people kidnapped or taken hostage in terrorist attacks in India nearly tripled in 2015, increasing to 862 from 305 in 2014. Like in Iraq, this was largely the result of attacks involving large numbers of people kidnapped or taken hostage. In 2014, there were no attacks in India in which 50 or more people were kidnapped or taken hostage, while in 2015 there were seven, all of which were attributed to Maoist extremists. India ranked highly among countries that experienced the most terrorist attacks in 2015. More than half of the terrorist attacks in India in 2015 took place in four states: Chhattisgarh (21%), Manipur (12%), Jammu and Kashmir (11%), and Jharkhand (10%). In Chhattisgarh, the number of terrorist attacks more than doubled in 2015, to 167 from 76 in 2014. In Assam—one of the states that experienced the most attacks in 2014—the number of attacks declined by nearly half from 94 in 2014 to 49 in 2015. After attacks in India, terrorists can easily sneak into Nepal. This is why; an open border with India and weak border security has increased the risk that international terrorists could use Nepal as a transit or staging point.The report of the U.S. State Department should be wake up call for Nepali authorities. Otherwise, terrorist groups can exploit Nepal for safe heaven, transit point or staging point.

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby Kakkaji » 11 Jun 2016 06:08

Hint of thaw in Nepal ties

New Delhi, June 10: Nepal's deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa today described relations with India as "excellent" and suggested that the neighbours had left behind the acrimony that just a month back saw Kathmandu call back its ambassador and accuse New Delhi of trying to stage a coup.

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby Prem » 26 Jun 2016 06:40

Nepal, India to use ‘internationally accepted’ system for border management

The statement said the Nepal–India Boundary Global Navigation Satellite System (NIB GNSS) would be used for Nepal–India boundary pillars.Krishna Raj BC, Director General of the Survey Department, had led the Nepali delegation during the three-day meeting while the Indian delegation was led by Swarna Subba Rao, Surveyor General of India.Before the BWG meeting, the fourth meeting of Survey Officials’ Committee (SOC) was held in Kathmandu from 20 to 22 June.“The BWG meeting reviewed reports submitted before it by the SOC meetings and Joint Field Survey Teams (FST), and appreciated the progress made on the ongoing boundary works carried out at Nepal–India border,” the statement read, “The meeting finalised the target and schedule for the next field season. It was decided that the completion of the backlogged tasks from previous field seasons will be given a high priority.”

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby Prem » 26 Jun 2016 06:55

Dupe

Melwyn

Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby Melwyn » 26 Jun 2016 23:29

It's time India should abrogate the 1950 treaty and create a relationship based on normal nation states. Should have a strong border management system with visas required to cross the borders. No more of this little brother - big brother nonsense.

Also, while at it India should support the movements within the native population to rise against these pahadi elites. Once the Nepali aborigines start asserting themselves more strongly, these pahadi elites will run back to India to take shelter. Of course India should not allow them to enter without proper paperwork and visa.

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby Prem » 27 Jun 2016 02:41

Maiden joint meeting of Nepal-India EPG next week
(Slow and steady Oli will be oiled in Modijuggernaut)

KATHMANDU: The first joint meeting of the Eminent Persons Group on Nepal-India Relations (EPG-NIR) would be held in Kathmandu on coming July 4 and 5.The EPG-NIR was established to look into the totality of Nepal-India relations from independent, non-governmental perspectives and suggest measures to further expand and consolidate the close and multifaceted relations between the two countries.The Indian side in the EPG, led by Bhagat Singh Koshyari, is scheduled to arrive in the Capital on July 3. Other members of the EPG from India are former Indian Ambassador to Nepal Jayant Prasad, Prof Mahendra P Lama and Prof BC Upreti.The EPG members from Nepal include UML Member of Parliament Rajan Bhattarai, former Minister Nilamber Acharya and former Secretary Suryanath Upadhyay.The EPG-NIR would look into the 1950 Nepal-India Friendship Treaty and other agreements and understandings reached between the two countries and recommend re-signing, updating or annulment of those treaties.

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby Prem » 14 Sep 2016 00:48

http://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/ ... rfZsK.html
How Nepal PM Prachanda’s relationship with India turned with the tide

To understand the swings in Prachanda’s relationship with India, we need to go back to his entry into politics, socialisation and the context of the times.
A young man who joined one of the shades of Nepal’s radical communist movement in the 70s, Prachanda grew up in the years when Nepali nationalism was equated with resistance to India – this was encouraged by the monarchy as a way to bolster its own legitimacy. Delhi’s moves in Sikkim were seen with fear and dread in Kathmandu and as proof of Indian ‘expansionism’. In communist literature, Nepal was theorised as a ‘semi-colony’ of India – eyeing Nepal’s raw materials and natural resources, and treating it as little more than a captive market. The Indian state was perceived to be backing the democratic Nepali Congress, the key rival of the communists and domestic ‘class enemies’. Prachanda read Maoist and Marxist texts, translated in Nepali from Hindi. His judgment of Indian state as the principal enemy of the Nepali masses was framed in this milieu, not any direct engagement. He had not met a single senior Indian diplomat through the 70s, 80s, and even 90s.In 1996, when the obituary of communism had been written after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Nepal’s Maoists - led by Prachanda - decided to pick the gun.
Through the decade-long insurgency, he pulled off a balancing act - of living for 8 of the 10 years underground in various Indian cities while threatening to fight a bunker war with India, and eventually seeking Indian facilitation in initiating a peace process. At different points, depending on the circumstances of the war back home, he either stepped up rhetoric against India or sought to engage with it.
The turning point came in 2002 when the Nepali conflict had become triangular – between the king, the Maoists, and the parliamentary forces. The Royal Nepal Army had launched an offensive against the Maoists. And Prachanda recognised that eventually, there would have to be a political solution to the crisis. Through the JNU academic, SD Muni, Prachanda sent a letter to the then NSA, Brajesh Mishra, explaining the rationale for the Maoist rebellion and committing that Maoists would not hurt Delhi’s interests. Indian intelligence agencies now stepped up their engagement with Nepali Maoists, even as officially India continued to call them ‘terrorists’ and arm the Royal Nepal Army to fight the rebels.. A political pact was signed in India between Maoists and parliamentary forces. Prachanda was grateful to Delhi for helping him gain legitimacy. India was happy with its successful peacemaking initiative and concluded the Maoists had turned a new leaf.
In power, the riftAs the elected PM in 2008, Prachanda got off on the wrong track from the Indian point of view. For one, he made China his first foreign outing – and said this marked krambhangata, departure from norm. India was not happy but let it pass, and welcomed him soon after. But the tensions escalated when Prachanda opened other fronts. A party document declared India and its ‘brokers’ enemies; he sought to replace Indian priests with Nepali priests at the Pashupati Nath Temple.And most importantly, he took on the Nepal army and dismissed its chief. India saw the NA as an extension of its own security architecture, a key ally, and was concerned that Maoists wanted to change the ‘character’ of the army and capture state power to establish a one-party regime. Delhi mobilised the rest of Nepal’s political class against Prachanda’s move.
The ruling parties, Nepali Congress and UML, had close to a two-thirds majority between them – enough to force the constitution through. India supported a constitution based on consensus. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a visit to Kathmandu in November 2014, categorically said that the constitution is a foundational document, it can be amended with a two-thirds majority, but should be drafted on the basis of consensus. This was music to the ears of both Maoists and Madhesis.Prachanda suddenly switched sides, and allied with NC and UML – and dropped the agenda of federalism and inclusion. The Madhesi forces were now left isolated. There have been many theories about this shift. Prachanda himself claims he did so because he did not want the second CA to suffer the same fate as the first one – this would end up ‘criminalising’ the entire Maoist movement since they would have failed to meet their political objective of drafting a constitution.
Prachanda’s forthcoming visit to Delhi can only be understood in this backdrop – of deep discord followed by friendship, of suspicion followed by collaboration, of a sense of betrayal followed by renewed partnership between the two sides.For the Narendra Modi government, the visit and the feel good sentiment is an answer to domestic critics who have claimed that the current government has ‘lost Nepal’. It is also a vindication of its own principled position that Nepal’s constitutional project needed wider acceptance – the fact that almost all of Nepal’s major political forces, except Oli’s UML, now agree that the constitution needs to be amended is a moral victory for Delhi. The visit is also an opportunity for India to steer Nepal back to its more traditional pro-India foreign policy orientation. The Chinese engagement has grown, and it has become even more important for India to have a friendly regime in Kathmandu.For Prachanda, the visit is an opportunity to show to his domestic constituency that he has international legitimacy and acceptance. While he has to be careful not to be seen as tilting too close to India, since Oli and company may paint it as having sold Nepal’s interests, Prachanda wants to show back home that under him, relations with India have been brought back on track. The Maoist chairman wants to also use the visit to deepen his political relationships with Indian establishment, make admissions of past errors and seek reassurance that Delhi would support him.
But the main challenge for the Nepali PM is back home. He had hoped to register a constitutional amendment to accommodate Madhesi concerns before coming. But this looks unlikely now, given deep differences on the nature of the amendment.
.

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby Paul » 14 Sep 2016 20:42

View from Nepal...PRC is perceived as not being too sure footed in the Game. India won this round!

http://www.myrepublica.com/news/5603

It’s India, stupid
September 13, 2016 23:45 PM , Trailokya Raj Aryal

China backed Oli government with the hope that the alliance between the two powerful leftist parties would counter Indian influence in Nepal
If Chinese President Xi Jinping does not visit Nepal this year—and as of this writing he is unlikely to come, despite some media reports to the contrary—it won’t be surprising if we are inundated with news reports and op-ed pieces blaming Nepali government for it. Of course this is not to say that ours is a government that knows how to properly handle foreign relations, but the Chinese side is also as responsible for the postponement, cancellation rather, of the visit.

It is no surprise that both sides are misreading each other and sending confusing signals these days and as such it has complicated our relations. China views Nepal, and rightly, as a country that is indecisive, without clear foreign policy objectives, and ruled by leaders who are only concerned about their own interests, whereas China is viewed by our leaders as a country that wants us to commit to things that are simply not possible in our context, or at least in the present political set-up.

Ask Nepali scholars and politicians about our relations with China and you are guaranteed an hour-long lecture on the history of it, but they hardly talk about how the relations should be managed in today’s changed context in our immediate vicinity and elsewhere in the world. We mistakenly believe that China views Nepal as falling under India’s ‘sphere of influence’ and it is fine with it and has no interest whatsoever in changing the status quo.
To prove it, our scholars quote Chinese leaders of the past who told our leaders to maintain good relations with India. But here’s what they do not get: it was said in the past. We have failed to understand that a country’s priority changes with economic development and with changing security concerns. Suffice to say we are in a time warp when it comes to China. We still think it views us exactly the way it did in the past and what worked before works now.

China under Xi Jinping is pursuing an assertive foreign policy. This was made clear during the central work conference on foreign relation held on November 28-29, 2014.

Consolidating regional leadership is one major focus of Chinese foreign policy these days.

Unlike the previous governments that followed Deng Xiaoping’s advice to hide their strength and bide their time, today’s China is emerging as a confident power that does not need to hide its strength and that clearly understands its national interests and has a clear strategy to achieve those.

A year before the conference, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi made it clear that China must “conduct great power diplomacy, cultivate a great power mentality, foster great power sentiments and demonstrate great power bearing” especially when “dealing with small and medium sized nations” (for more on this please see, China Overhauls Diplomacy to Consolidate Regional Leadership, Outline Strategy for Superpower Ascent by Timothy Heath, December 19, 2014, Jamestown.org).

Like all countries with functioning foreign policy, China too classifies its relations with other countries based on their usefulness and/or threat to China, whether it is related to trade or security. The more a country is deemed important, the more it is engaged, including with high level visits. Nepal is a country that the Chinese side knows is very important to its security concerns. It realizes that in case of a naval war in South China Sea or the Indian Ocean, say against a US-India alliance, it can use Nepali territory to threaten India with a ground war.

China wants us to realize our strategic importance and inch closer to it. It wants to help us prosper but it also wants our firm commitment to its interests. It wants the 1960 treaty of peace and friendship between the two countries reviewed to accommodate the changes in China, Nepal and elsewhere. It wants a strong enough government/ruler that will put into practice the commitments we have made to Beijing. Befitting a superpower, it wants to become an influential player in our domestic politics and it wants us to prioritize our relations with it over others.

In KP Oli, the Chinese saw a strong leader who could be trusted. Oil appeared strong, nationalist and someone who would not shy away from reaching out to China, not only in rhetoric but in actual practice. The Chinese confused him with the Nepali state. They saw someone who made sense and with whom deals could be signed. And as a way to send a strong message to India and other powers that China has now entered into a new era of bilateral relations with Nepal, we were told that President Xi would visit Nepal. But the Oli-led government was toppled and the new government was formed, many analysts believe, with Indian support, and it is yet to win China’s trust.

In this context the Chinese side must have felt that a high level visit to Nepal would be sending a wrong signal, i.e., China is fine with the Indian influence in Nepali politics.

Further, it seemed to have fully understood that the president’s visit would be interpreted by the new Nepali government as its great diplomatic success; and it rightly decided that it was a bit too early to allow that to the new government. Hence there is no likelihood of a high-level visit from China unless the Dahal-led government can prove that it has not been formed to undo all the far-reaching agreements signed with China by the previous government.

Furthermore, the Chinese side hasn’t forgotten the abrupt cancellation of visit to China by Dahal in 2009 as prime minister. China clearly saw it as a way of avoiding discussing the draft of a new treaty to replace the 1960 treaty of peace and friendship, a draft it had sent to Nepal for revision at the end of 2008. If Dahal thinks the Chinese side has forgotten it and he can charm it with rhetoric of friendship and hollow promises yet again, he is thoroughly mistaken. But more than that, the Chinese side will not forget that he is responsible for breaking the UML-Maoist alliance in which it invested heavily.

The Chinese side backed Oli government with the hope that the alliance between the two powerful leftist parties would counter Indian influence in Nepal and move Nepal closer to China. The last thing it expected was for Dahal to break that alliance, that too after it had repeatedly asked him not to do so. Therefore, it will be an uphill battle for Dahal to win Chinese trust.

As things stand now, for a major breakthrough in our bilateral relations, there are only two options. We either tell the Chinese side politely that we value our friendship with you as well as your continued support to our development effort and we will take your valid concerns seriously. But we cannot do what you want us to do, given our geopolitical reality—sort of saying, we will not go against you, but we cannot go along with your strategic designs as well.

Either that or the Chinese side supports another revolution in Nepal and installs a pro-China government after the political change so as to replace India as the major player in Nepal. The choices are difficult for both the countries, but there is no other option.

Still hoping against hope, I do wish the Chinese president visits Nepal at his earliest convenience.

trailokya@yahoo.com

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby Paul » 14 Sep 2016 21:02

7-8 years ago I had said on this forum that Indian establishment was playing the Nepali left masterfully to secure Indian interests. I was ridiculed at that time and questioned why the Hindu Monarchy was overthrown. The way Prachanda's differences with PRC been exploited and been brought from an anti Indian platform to at least neutral position if not pro India is nothing less than masterful strategy by India (UPA and NDA).

Point is that Nepal under Monarchy's last few years was more anti-Indian than it is now. Madhesis are a more reliable for securing indian interests than the Hindu Monarchy which was under British/chinese influence. Moving forward we have to work to ring Nepal under a web of agreements and networks to link it further with India. China can never offer Nepal what we can do for them.

+++++

I recall reading somewhere Prachanda's daughter died of Cancer in an Indian hospital some years ago. I am sure like Salauddin' s son, favors were given to Prachanda when he was in the wilderness. PRC proclivity to work only with the ruling party shows their amateurishness in the great game.

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby Paul » 15 Sep 2016 11:25

http://www.myrepublica.com/news/5690

'Govt asking India to downsize Indian Line of Credit'
September 15, 2016 01:30 AM , Rudra Pangeni

KATHMANDU, Sept 15: Nepal has failed to fully utilize the Indian line of credit (LoC) of US$ 1,000 that the southern neighbor announced in 2014.

The government has identified projects to invest only $550 million of the pledged amount.

Government sources say one of the agendas of the Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal upcoming India visit is to downsize the assistance commitment. The reason behind this is the failure to identify a proper project to utilize the assistance, they say.

Officials of the finance ministry say that the government will propose amendment to the framework agreement of the LoC, which was signed on the sidelines of 18th SAARC Summit held in Kathmandu in November, 2014, during the PM's India visit. Nepal will push to remove a provision that requires it to pay commitment fee, which is about 0.05 percent of the loan amount, the officials added.

The agreement was signed as per the loan assistance announced by Indian PM Narendra Modi during his address to the Nepali parliament in August 2014. The assistance is meant for infrastructure projects like roads, irrigation facilities and hydropower plants.

The government is investing $330 million of the pledged amount in 14 road projects including small and local roads. Similarly, it has set aside $200 million for two irrigation projects. Remaining $20 million will be used to upgrade substations of three transmission lines.

The finance ministry sources privy to the development told Republica that they would propose India to make amendment to the framework agreement during PM's visit so that they do not have to pay commitment fees for the unused money to the Exim Bank of India. “Amendment will be made in such a way that the fund can be utilized once the projects are identified,” a finance ministry source told Republica.

Experts say the amount should have been invested in hydropower projects as the country has been facing chronic power shortage for over a decade. “Though we don't have any ready to implement hydropower project, there was a discussion to invest Indian LoC to implement the Budhigandaki Hydropower Project. But it couldn't materialize,” Gokarna Raj Panth, deputy spokesperson of Ministry of Energy, said.

Republica has learnt that high-level political leaders did not give consent to inject Indian LoC to implement the Budhigandaki project for reasons best known to them.

India has committed $1,000 million assistance ($250 million as grants and $750 million as soft loan) for post-quake reconstruction. Agreement of the grants has already been signed and funds have been released. But agreement for soft loan is yet to be signed.

Finance ministry officials say the agreement for soft loan was unlikely to be signed during the PM's visit as Nepal has reservations on conditions put by India on mobilizing the funds.

3

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby Paul » 15 Sep 2016 11:53

Give me a reason
September 15, 2016 00:35 AM , Biswas Baral

22
Give me a reason
Biswas Baral

With no substantial bilateral deal in the offing, and Kathmandu inching closer to New Delhi, there was no reason for Chinese president to come
Chinese President Xi Jinping, in all likelihood, is not coming to Nepal anytime soon. In fact, the Chinese had at no point given a clear green signal that Xi would be visiting Nepal. Back in June, a senior Chinese army officer, Sun Jianguo, was in Kathmandu, supposedly to lay the ground for President Xi’s Nepal visit on his way back from the annual BRICS summit in Goa, India in the middle of October. The Chinese refused to give a clear date for Xi’s date because at the time of Sun Jianguo’s Kathmandu visit, the air of the Nepali capital was already thick with rumors of an imminent change of guard. But, according to government sources, he also dropped enough hints that Xi would come if Oli survived until October.

China’s worst fears came true when, at the start of August, Pushpa Kamal Dahal finally pulled the plug on KP Oli government, on which China had pinned such high hopes.

Breaking with its traditional restraint, the Chinese actively lobbied for the continuity of the communist coalition. For it genuinely believed that the UML-Maoist coalition was serious about taking Nepal-China relations to a new height, even at the risk of alienating the Indian establishment. The Chinese had a reason to be optimistic.

After last year’s border blockade, Oli as prime minister had made a concerted effort to diversify Nepal’s trade relations away from India, and rightly so: it is not in Nepal’s interest to so completely depend on one country. As Oli saw it, for the landlocked Nepal, this naturally translated into closer ties with Beijing.

True, his government could have shown greater initiative to implement recent deals with China. Nonetheless it was a government trusted by China. The Chinese were dead serious about extending the Lhasa-Shigatse rail link up to Keyrung on Nepali border and about offering Nepal an alternate trade route, thereby breaking India’s monopoly on Nepal’s third-country trade. It was also interested in other big infrastructure projects. But then the Oli government suddenly collapsed, to the jubilation of the establishment types in New Delhi. Beijing was greatly dismayed.

(Old) Chinese characters
China above all prizes policy stability in the countries it likes to do business with. And it had started to genuinely feel that the communist coalition in Kathmandu would endure for sometime, allowing it to implement recent agreements. But then Oli got greedy and refused to make way for Pushpa Kamal Dahal, as was initially agreed at the time of formation of the communist coalition government at the fag end of 2015. The Chinese hinted to Oli that he should not hesitate to make way for Dahal in order to save the coalition, but Oli didn’t listen.

Meanwhile, India was ramping up pressure on Dahal as it threatened to drag him before international court for war crimes. Dahal in the end decided that if he ditched Oli he could kill two birds with a single stone: escape war crimes and get to be the prime minister for the second time.

So the new government was formed and right from the start Dahal made a concerted effort to woo New Delhi, going so far as to preposterously claim that he shared some kind of ‘chemistry’ with Narendra Modi. He said he was also ready to atone for his ‘past mistakes’ that had riled India during his first term. The new Dahal government also showed no inclination to implement recent deals with China. In Beijing’s eyes, notwithstanding his legitimate claim to leadership of the communist coalition, Dahal betrayed them.

In this backdrop, with no substantial bilateral deal in the offing, and Kathmandu once again looking to inch closer to New Delhi, there was no reason for the Chinese president to come. This much was quietly but unambiguously communicated to Nepali officials.

So what do we make of recent remark of Hua Chunying, the spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry, that “we can’t say if it’s [President Xi’s Nepal visit] been cancelled or not”. The transcript of the press conference in which she spoke (and which is now posted on the website of the Chinese foreign ministry) is instructive.

The question that was posed to her was: “According to reports in Nepal, the Chinese leader will postpone or cancel his visit to Nepal scheduled for October. Can you confirm and give us more details? How does China view its relationship with Nepal after Prachanda took the helm as prime minister?”

Her answer, as it appears on the website: “We have been in communication with the Nepali side through the diplomatic channel about high-level exchanges between the two countries.” Translation: The October visit has been cancelled. Perhaps we could arrange something for a future date. Interestingly, gone is ambiguous “cancelled or not” line she uttered at the press meet.

“The Chinese side commends the new Nepali government for their continuous emphasis on relations with China,” she continues. “Guided by the concept of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, we will work with Nepal to strive for new progress in bilateral relations.” Translation: We will continue to engage with Nepal government just like we engage with the governments of other countries.

(New) Nepali script
Unless there is a dramatic change in ground realities in Nepal, President Xi won’t come—at least not in 2016. But this is not because China sees that Nepal has once again gone into the ‘Indian sphere’. I think China understands that it is futile to try to match India’s influence in Nepal, which is why it has repeatedly pushed the concept of trilateral cooperation between the three countries, most notably on rail connectivity.

This, however, is not to imply that there is no strategic calculation behind the decision to cancel Xi’s October trip. The Chinese are increasingly concerned by the growing strategic ties between India and the US, China’s chief rival for global prominence. China views this as part of a strategy to ‘encircle’ it, something India can’t manage on its own.

Traditionally, too, the concept of encirclement has featured high in Chinese foreign policy calculus, and something it tries to avoid at all cost.

So even though the Chinese are not as preoccupied with the emergence of India as its strategic threat on its own, they do remain concerned about machinations of Western powers in South Asia using India as their proxy. Hence in recent times China has made a concerted effort to deepen its engagements with all South Asian countries, largely to minimize the prospect of encirclement in the region by a (US-backed) ‘democratic’ alliance.

Whether Xi comes or not, there is now a groundswell of support for greater engagement with China. There is common understanding on the need to diversify into China, and away from India, to protect our national interest. It would thus be wrong to see greater engagement with China as the agenda only of Oli-leaning nationalists. It is a concern of all Nepalis who want to see greater (if not a perfect) balance in Nepal’s relations with its two neighbors.

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby Prem » 17 Sep 2016 02:08

India, Nepal Restore Friendlier Ties
this News by VOA

NEW DELHI — India and Nepal have put diplomatic relations, that had frayed in the past year, back on track during a visit to New Delhi by Nepal's new prime minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, popularly known as Prachanda.Before landing in New Delhi, Prachanda said relations with India had become frosty for some time and he wanted to remove "the bitterness."New Delhi, which has been concerned about Beijing's growing influence in the strategically located country, took the opportunity to woo Nepal back into its fold.India's foreign ministry called it a "very warm visit" and said discussions focused on development projects in its landlocked neighbor that remains one of the world's poorest countries.Three agreements signed on Friday include a $750 million credit line in aid for reconstruction work relating to the deadly earthquake that devastated Nepal last year. Two others relate to road projects. Discussions were also held on a long rail link from east to west Nepal and power projects.
After meeting his Nepalese counterpart, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the friendship "time-tested and unique.""As immediate neighbors and close, friendly nations, peace, stability and economic prosperity of Nepal is our shared objective," he said.But as New Delhi and Kathmandu restore the bonhomie in their ties after the recent rocky phase, the Nepalese leader spoke of the need to build trust."Trust and confidence are the prerequisites of this strong and sustainable, friendly relation and to ensure this we should respect each other's sensitivities and concern in spirit of good neighborliness," said Prachanda.Political analysts say while rebuilding ties with India, Nepal will also continue to cultivate China, which has invested millions of dollars to help the country build roads, hospitals and other infrastructure. Beijing has made rapid inroads in Nepal in recent years as part of its broader strategy of gaining a foothold in South Asia.However Nepali media say that Beijing has put off a planned visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping later this year due to lack of progress on Nepal's part on the projects agreed to between the two countries.

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby Paul » 19 Sep 2016 16:19

Image

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby Paul » 19 Sep 2016 16:23

In the early part of the last decade, China’s investment in Nepal was marginal in comparison with India. However, since 2008, Chinese investments in the Himalayan state have surged, and in 2014, it outranked India for the first time in terms of total investment. In 2015-16, China contributed 42% of total FDI to Nepal. This increase is also seen in Chinese Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), where China overtook Indian aid in 2015, growing steadily from $19 million in 2010-11 to $38 million in 2014-15 (compared with India’s $22 million the same year).

China’s strategic inclination towards Nepal is evident from these statistics, and it is a serious challenge to India in its own neighbourhood.

China’s funding is evident across major infrastructure and energy projects in Nepal. These include the West Seti Dam, the Pokhara Airport and Upper Trishuli hydropower project. In return, Nepal has agreed to extend its cooperation to the Silk Road Economic Belt, part of China’s ambitious One Belt One Road initiative. Infrastructure funding with cultural overtones is part of China’s play in Nepal. The Chinese government-funded Asia-Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation plans to invest $3 billion to convert Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, into a cultural “zone” that will attract millions of Buddhist pilgrims and tourists.

This financial coziness between China and Nepal has major implications for the security architecture of the region. First, with China becoming more assertive in establishing amicable relationships with India’s South Asian neighbours, troubled countries like Nepal will likely respond positively to China. Second, Chinese investment helps to hedge and reduce Nepal’s dependence on India. There are trade-offs, of course. For instance Nepal has to adhere to the Chinese line on sensitive issues such as Tibetan refugee protests within the country, peaceful or otherwise.

While China’s ODA to Nepal is large, the biggest donors to Nepal by far are multilateral agencies such as the World Bank Group and the Asian Development Bank with $320 million in 2014-15. At the bilateral level, the U.K. leads the pack as the highest donor, followed by China, India, the U.S., and Japan.Explains British influence on the monarchy

But given China’s strategic purpose and large manpower presence in Nepal, for now China rules the peaks of the Himalayas, and has surpassed India’s dominance.

Rajiv Bhatia is Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Programme, Gateway House, and a former ambassador to Myanmar.

Joost Van Deutekom was a summer researcher a Gateway House, and is now a Yenching Scholar at Peking University in China.

Lina Lee is a research intern at Gateway House.

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby Prem » 03 Nov 2016 01:02

http://thehimalayantimes.com/kathmandu/ ... ing-today/
Indian President Mukherjee arriving today
KATHMANDU: Indian President Pranab Mukherjee is arriving on a three-day state visit to Nepal at the invitation of President Bidya Devi Bhandari, on Wednesday afternoon.President Bhandari will receive her Indian counterpart at the VVIP lounge at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).All necessary security preparations have been made for the state visit.The government has announced public holiday today in honour of the visiting Indian President.This will be the first visit of an Indian President to Nepal in 18 years.KR Narayanan was the last Indian president to visit Nepal in May 1998.Indian President Mukherjee is scheduled to meet President Bhandari today at Shital Niwas.President Bhandari will also host a state banquet this evening in honour of Indian President Mukherjee.



Won’t spare any effort to improve ties, Nepal tells Indian Prez
http://thehimalayantimes.com/kathmandu/ ... lls-india/
KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal told Indian President Pranab Mukherjee that Nepal would spare no effort to strengthen Nepal-India ties.Dahal said so while he paid a courtesy call on visiting state guest in Kathmandu today.

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby Paul » 06 Nov 2016 19:03

.My sense of Nepali politics from conversations in Kathmandu last week:

1. It is now very unlikely, if not impossible, that local elections will be held in April. This will throw up serious questions about the entire constitution implementation timetable.

2. A constitutional amendment proposal will be registered soon - whether it will be passed is uncertain.

3. The Lokman issue has nothing to do with good fighting evil. It is purely a battle of thieves and speaks of institutional corrosion all around - it may however have implications for power alignments

4. The handover of Prime Ministership from Maoists to NC in April will not be very smooth. Expect serious power play then, or even earlier.

5. UML is the most focused of the hill centric parties and has penetrated into state institutions - including the judiciary. They have also been able to sell the nationalist rhetoric. This is purely due to the failures, and the defensive posture of the NC and Maoists who are too meek, too incoherent to mount a challenge.

6. I am astounded by the levels of corruption at the highest political levels. The sole purpose of political power in Nepal was to extract profits from the state but it is touching new lows. Every deal, every ministry, every top leader is entrenched in networks of corruption. And the figures are in hundreds of crores.

7. Large sections of Kathmandu civil society have been captured by big business and established political interests - some through design, some by default.

8. The Chinese are waiting to mount a comeback. They are simultaneously reaching out to Nc and pushing revival of the Maoist-UML alliance.

9. India has recovered space in Kathmandu polity. But it is fragile, and Delhi will have to remain watchful of changing equations. Maintaining ties with a friendly dispensation in Kathmandu while nudging it to a more inclusive polity is a tough - but necessary - balancing act that must be pursued.

10. Nepal, as a senior leader said, is a 'divided country' and the divisions will continue to grow - esp on the pahad Madhes axis. This is the single most important challenge for the state.


From FB, point 10 most imp IMHO. A trump in India's favor

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby ricky_v » 09 Dec 2016 00:36

Oh look, a knife, all that remains now is for someone to twist it properly
http://www.msn.com/en-in/news/world/nepal-madhesis-protest-outside-british-embassy-against-1816-treaty/ar-AAljAG2?li=AAggbRN
Madhesi activists today held demonstration outside British Embassy here on the bicentennial of the 1816 British-Nepal treaty under which land of Madheshis in Terai region was handed over by the British Government to the King of Nepal. The protesters were holding banners with slogans like "Void the Treaty - Free Our Land", "Madheshis Want Their Land Back", "200 Years of Slave should be independent.Under the British-Nepal treaty of December 8, 1816, the land of Madheshis was handed over by the British Government to the King of Nepal in lieu of paying Rs two lakhs per annum.

The Alliance for Independent Madhesh (AIM) led by C K Raut marked the "day as a black day in the history of Madhesh, when Nepali colonisation and enslavement started."

The alliance further demanded entry of Madhesh into the Commonwealth of Nations, as it was once ruled by the British and the British officials used to collect taxes and revenues from Madhesh/Terai directly.


AIM subcoordinator Kailash Mahato said the British Government through the treaty handed over the eastern part of Madhesh/Terai, between the Koshi and the Rapti rivers, to the King of Nepal instead of paying Rs two lakhs per year.

While doing so, the British Government put a condition explicitly in the treaty stating "the Rajah of Nipal agrees to refrain from prosecuting any inhabitants of the Terai, after its revertance to his rule, on account of having favoured the cause of the British Government during the war."

But the condition, Mahato said, was never complied by the Government of Nepal, and the Madheshis became victims of "Nepali colonisation, discrimination, racism and slavery" from the very first days Madhesh was annexed to Nepal by the British Government.

Therefore, the alliance argued that, as the condition infixed in the treaty has never been complied by the Government of Nepal, the treaty should be void by itself and Madhesh should be independent
.

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby A_Gupta » 02 Jan 2017 10:06

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city ... 284288.cms
Bhutan gets back its deity from Kolkata
Known as Dhurm Rajah to scholars across the world, this larger-than-life statue had almost become synonymous with the 233-year-old Asiatic Society ever since it was "gifted" at the end of the landmark Buxa war in 1864 by the British army. Though the Society treated the brass statue as its icon and one of its most precious antique items all these years, no one had researched on the etymology of the statue, beyond what was already there in the documents that were handed down by Captain Hidayat Ali, who had led the victorious British army.

The Buxa Fort was held by Bhutan till it fell to the British on December 7, 1864.

A year ago, a letter from the Bhutan government to the external affairs ministry got everyone do a double take. It said Dhurm Rajah was none other than Zhab Drung Ngawang Namgyal, its founding father, who unified the small tribal entities to form modern Bhutan, 400 years ago! The letter clarified it was in 1616 that Namgyal came to Bhutan from Tibet and gave it a sense of national identity, laws, system of governance, the Dzong system and everything Bhutan was built upon. Naturally, he is revered to this date as a deity and while the Society treated it respectfully, it was much more than just a relic.

Bhutan's official request to India to send back the statue put the Centre in a spot not only because valued at Rs 5 crore, it is part of the country's heritage. At the same time it was a matter of foreign relations with a country known to be India's friend for years.After much debate, a middle path was arrived at. The country won't have to give up the statue for good, but would be "loaned" to Bhutan for the celebrations "for a year".

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby A_Gupta » 03 Jan 2017 07:35

Nepal receives 40 mega watt of electricity from India
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ind ... 291048.cms
KATHMANDU: Nepal has received 40 mega watt of electricity from India, taking the total import of power from the country to 340 mega watt, as part of the Himalayan nation's efforts to end load-shedding.

Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Dinesh Kumar Ghimire expressed hope that the country will become free from load-shedding now.

"We have started importing an additional 40 MW of electricity from India since Saturday midnight," Republica quoted Ghimire as saying.

"Also, 13MW of electricity has been added to the national grid from the Madi hydropower project," he said.

With the addition of 53 MW of electricity to the national grid, there is no possibility of load-shedding, Ghimire said.

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby A_Gupta » 03 Jan 2017 07:43

"Nepal SC refuses to stall Constitutional amendment bill
The bill, which was was registered at the Parliament Secretariat in November, aims to accommodate the demands of the agitating Madhesi and ethnic groups. "

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/ ... ment-bill/
Nepal’s Supreme Court on Monday cleared the decks for the government to go ahead with a crucial Constitution amendment bill, deciding against issuing an interim order to stall the bid citing separation of powers.

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby A_Gupta » 08 Mar 2017 18:29

http://indiablooms.com/ibns_new/video-d ... rcise.html
Pithoragarh, Mar 08 (ANI): A two-week long India-Nepal joint military exercise with focus on jungle warfare and counter-militancy began in Uttarakhand. The 'Surya Kiran' exercise is being held in Pithoragarh city, where a combined ceremonial parade was held by both the participating contingents. Over 600 soldiers from India and landlocked Nepal took part in the exercise. During the combined training, emphasis would be laid on upgrading tactical and practical skills by sharing each other's experiences and also enhancing interoperability in jungle warfare and counter-militancy operations in mountain terrain. The role and importance of armed forces in disaster management in both the countries has assumed increasing significance in the recent years.

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby ricky_v » 16 Aug 2017 22:01

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2107022/china-nepal-agree-financial-aid-package-deal-explore
One of the deals, signed on Tuesday, was an agreement to undertake a feasibility study to explore natural gas and petroleum resources, Nepal’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

As well as the aid package, China agreed to provide Nepal with a grant to help it restore border bridges and facilities at Tatopani port – a joint venture development project between the two countries – that were damaged in the earthquake in April 2015.Nepal voiced its desire for China to open the port, which is on the border between the countries at Tatopani and Zhangmu, at the earliest possible date, according to a press release from its foreign affairs ministry.

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby ricky_v » 27 Aug 2017 13:44

http://www.livemint.com/Politics/er3sXlwr0MUOVEN6cqqozH/India-Nepal-ink-eight-pacts.html
New Delhi:In what will help improve India’s connectivity with Nepal, the neighbours inked an agreement for the construction of a bridge over the river Mechi.

The Mechi bridge is part of the Asian Development Bank’s South Asian Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) road connectivity programme, with India pulling out all stops to expedite it in the backdrop of China’s ambitious ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative aimed at connecting around 60 countries across Asia, Africa and Europe.

The 1500-meter-long new bridge over Mechi River on India-Nepal border is estimated to cost Rs 158.65 crore. New Delhi will fund the project with a loan from Asian Development Bank.
The bridge would also connect Bangladesh and Nepal as the India-Nepal border at Panitanki-Kakarvitta is just about 34 kilometers from the India-Bangladesh border at Phulbari-Banglabandha. This would ease the cargo traffic between the two neighbours.

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Re: Nepal and Bhutan News and discussion

Postby Muns » 13 Oct 2017 08:40

Wanted to really understand the angst between Nepalis for India and of course our concern with Nepali and Chinese influence. Hence decided to try to produce a set of interview questions which may give us some Highlight on what the concerns really are. Topics such as Terai divide also brought up and may give us an insight into what Nepalis are really thinking.

We even tried to broach the question of Nepal becoming a union territory, but it didn't have too many takers among the Nepalese. :wink:

Please give us some feedback here on on the site so that we can improve on these videos.

What do Nepalese really think of Indians and India?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8plm5Fb-Lo&t=27s

Other interview videos :

http://www.india-aware.com/video-gallery/

Contact us ;

http://www.india-aware.com/contact/


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