Nepal | May 27, 2020

Nepal to reclaim disputed territory: PM

Ram Kumar Kamat
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Kathmandu, May 19

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today told the House of Representatives that Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani belonged to Nepal and the government would reclaim the territories through diplomatic efforts. India has counter claim on these areas.

The PM said Schedule 3 of the constitution that contained Nepal’s map would be amended immediately  to incorporate Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani so as to make Nepal’s case for reclamation of the these territories a watertight case, removing any ambiguity.

He said Nepali residents of areas west of Kalapani had been paying land taxes to the Government of Nepal prior to 1962 (2018 BS) and the government had also conducted census in those areas, but all that stopped after India stationed its troops in Kalapani in 1962.

The PM took a potshot at India’s motto of Satyameva Jayate (truth will prevail) inscribed on the State Emblem of India — a four-faced lion. “I ask India whether its motto is Satyameva Jayate or Singhameva Jayate (muscular power  will  prevail),” the PM said.

The PM said Nepal was an independent country and took decisions independently. “I hear people say that the government was about to fall, but was saved by the intervention of an ambassador. I wish people did not make such unnecessary comments,” the PM said.

The PM, who has been censured by the rival faction of the party of late for acting ‘unilaterally’, also took a potshot at the rival faction, saying people were free to expect him to quit, but his government was formed as per the will of the  people for a  full five-year term. “This government will last a full five-year term. I don’t want to make others jittery by talking about the period beyond five years,” the PM added.

He said dislodging governments that had popular mandates resulted in dictatorship in some countries, but in Nepal chance of the rise of dictatorship was nil.

The PM said the government would build  Lapsiphedi-Ratmate-Hetauda and Lapsiphedi–Ratmate-Damauli-Butwal 400 kV electricity transmission line either making it a part of Millennium Challenge Corporation programme or the government’s own programme or with the support of other investors. He said the MCC agreement was signed by the previous government and his government had the obligation to move the agreement ahead. “This government is  a perpetual successor of the previous government and if this government does not move the MCC process ahead, that will erode the diplomatic credibility of the government,” he said. He added that if the government lost diplomatic credibility then foreign countries would hesitate to sign deals with Nepal.

Oli said no government in the world was prepared to deal with coronavirus pandemic and the same was the case in Nepal, but the government was trying everything in its power to prevent the spread of the disease.

Despite the government’s efforts, cases of COVID-19 are rising mainly because many of those who enter Nepal from India during the lockdown do not report to the government authorities, the PM said. He added that viral load of infected people who had recently come from India was higher than those who came from Italy or UAE.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 20, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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