China seals border, Gorkha folks hit

Gorkha, July 21:

The Chinese government’s decision to seal its border with Nepal earlier this year has affected thousands of families in Chhekapar and Samagaun VDCs of Gorkha district who have been traditionally using the routes of Bhuila and Ghyala passes located on Nepal-China border to reach the markets of Jonga and Kongdang in District Kirong of the Tibet Autonomous region of China to carry out trans-border business and trade.

These Nepalis have been fulfiling their daily needs such as clothes, foodgrains, oil and salt through this traditional trans border business and trade. However in February this year the Chinese government sealed its border by deploying army and police personnel in that area and restricted the entry of Nepali nationals.

According to the locals owing to decision they have been facing severe shortage of various goods thereby affecting their normal life. Though Nepal’s government has taken up the issue with Beijing for allowing the Nepali nationals residing along the Nepal-China border to move freely, nothing has been done so far, the locals claimed.

At the same time the Chinese government has been unusually harsh in pressurising the Nepalis to crush any perceived signs of Tibetan resistance in Nepal. This is despite the fact that the Nepal Baudha Mahasangha has appealed to the government of Nepal to allow the Buddhists in Nepal to freely practice their religion and not link them unnecessarily with the ongoing protests by the Tibetan community.

Meanwhile, the Nepali Supreme Court directed (July 7) the government to free three detained Tibetan protesters, viz Tashi Dolma, Nawang Sangmo and Kalsan Chung who had been arrested earlier on charges of indulging in anti-China activities.

Reacting to the development, the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal has lodged a strongly-worded protest with the Nepali Foreign Secretary.