China urged to let Nepalis work in Taklakot

MoFA and consulate general in Tibet are awaiting a reply from the Chinese side

Kathmandu, June 6

The Consulate General of Nepal in Lhasa, Tibet, today wrote to Tibetan authorities, requesting the latter to ensure easy access to Humla residents to bordering Tibetan town of Taklakot and ensure an environment for them to work there.

The consulate general’s letter follows the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ letter forwarded to the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu on Tuesday requesting the same.

Both the ministry and consulate general are awaiting a reply from the Chinese side, according MoFA officials.

However, both the letters by MoFA and consulate general do not mention anything about the arrest of a Nepali man on murder charges in Taklakot following which Chinese authorities had prohibited Nepalis from entering Tibet.

Humla Assistant Chief District Officer Mahesh Kumar Pokhrel said the Chinese police had stopped allowing Nepalis into Tibet ever since Chinese police on May 21 informed Nepali police personnel stationed at bordering Nepali town of Hilsa about the arrest of Tirtha Khadera, a local of Sarkegad Rural Municipality, for allegedly murdering a woman in Taklakot.

Pokhrel said although it had been three days since the Chinese authorities started allowing Nepalis to enter Tibet, local communities in Taklakot did not allow Nepalis to work there.

The Hilsa border point opens for six months every year and around 1,500 to 2,000 Nepalis travel to Taklakot, two-hour drive from Hilsa, for work every season, Pohkrel said.

A Nepali earns up to Rs 5,000 a day working in Taklakot.

Businesses there employ Nepalis because of cheap labour.

A MoFA official told THT that the Chinese side had already informed the consulate general about the arrest of Khadera and ongoing investigation. The official said owing to complex Chinese rules it would take some time for the consulate general officials to get in touch with the arrested Nepali man.

“The Chinese authorities will inform the consulate about any development in the investigation,” the official said.

As per an agreement between Nepal and China, people from both sides can cross the border and go up to 30 km.

Spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu Ji Guangli said the Chinese Embassy in Nepal did not have specific information regarding the criminal activity committed by the individual Nepali national in China and the related incident as informed by the relevant authority of the Nepali side.

“The embassy is checking facts with the relevant authorities in China. The Chinese side supports dynamic exchanges and cooperation between the peoples of China and Nepal as long as laws are abided and local customs and habits are respected,” added Guangli.