China embargo hits Gorkha folk

Gorkha, October 3:

The Chinese government has forbidden Nepali citizens from going towards Tibet via Duila Dhajen checkpoint on the northern border of Gorkha district.

Former chairman of Chekampar VDC Nima Lama said Nepalis have been banned from going to the Tibetan markets on the border of the VDC for the past two months. He added that Chinese authorities did not provide any explanation for the ban. The fear of starvation is haunting northern Gorkha people as they were dependent on the Tibetan markets for food grains, among other things. These people used to go to Tibet via the Duila Dhajen checkpoint to buy consumer items, clothes and household goods from Jonga bazaar of Tibet’s Kirongson district. People of Samagaun, Chekampar, Chumchet, Lho, Prok and other VDCs are dependent on the Tibetan market. They used to bring rice, ghee, edible oils, salt, flour, clothes, woollens, grass, carpets and kerosene from the Tibetan market.

Chekampar VDC secretary Bhai Kaji Shrestha said the district’s people are facing a severe shortage of items of daily use after passage through the Duila Dhajen checkpoint was stopped.

He said that if the checkpoint were not opened immediately, the people would starve to death. Locals have appealed to the district administration to take initiatives to get the checkpoint opened.

Assistant CDO Bijay Raj Poudel said: “We have forwarded the demand of the locals to the Home Secretary and the department concerned for taking it up with the Foreign Ministry and the diplomatic mission.”