UK cautions Britons against indulging in political activities while in Nepal

Kathmandu, May 20

The United Kingdom has urged British nationals not to take part in political activities while in Nepal.

“If you’re involved in any political activity in Nepal you may be liable to penalties including deportation and/or a fine,” the UK government stated, issuing a Nepal travel advice today.

The travel advice follows the recent detention of a British national, Martin Travers, after he was found taking part in an anti-government protest in Kathmandu.

Referring to recent anti-government protests, rallies and strikes, the British government also cautioned its nationals to monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities and tour operators for travelling across Nepal.

“British government officials in Nepal may sometimes have to defer travel, depending on the security situation at the time. Transport and public services may be disrupted at a short notice.

Protests can occur at a short notice and turn violent. Clashes between protesters and police may occur anywhere. Stay away from protest areas,” reads the British foreign travel-advice issued today.

It recalled the last year’s devastating earthquakes and cautioned British citizens about possible risk of further temblors, aftershocks, landslides and flooding in Nepal.

Around 40,000 British nationals visited Nepal in 2013 and most of them were ‘trouble-free’, noted the travel advice.

Nepal’s Department of Immigration has also issued a notice to make it clear that all foreign nationals, who are temporarily residing in Nepal, are “not allowed to indulge in activities other than the purpose for which the visa was obtained”.

Earlier this month, a Canadian citizen was also detained and his work visa was revoked on the charge of undermining Nepal’s sovereignty and integrity and jeopardising social harmony through provocative posts on social networking sites.

Former president of Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents Ram Kaji Koney said the UK government shouldn’t frame policies detrimental to bilateral, as well as business ties, just on the basis of action taken against one of its nationals.

A representative of NATTA said the travel advice contradicted the message the British government gave with Prince Harry’s successful visit to Nepal in March.