Nepali leader says In­dia ‘break­ing int’l law’

Late Break­ing: In­dia re­sumes send­ing food fuel to Nepal

The China Post - - LIFE GUIDE POST -

A se­nior Nepali law­maker, tipped to be the next prime min­is­ter, on Wed­nes­day ac­cused neigh­bor­ing gi­ant In­dia of break­ing in­ter­na­tional law by de­lib­er­ately halt­ing cross-bor­der trade, forc­ing the land­locked na­tion to ra­tion fuel.

Since last Thurs­day, mem­bers of an eth­nic mi­nor­ity liv­ing in Nepal’s south­ern plains have blocked a crit­i­cal trade route into the coun­try from In­dia in protest over the new con­sti­tu­tion adopted on Sept. 20.

Of­fi­cials say cargo move­ment through other bor­der check­points has also de­clined sharply since last week, spark­ing fears of a fuel short- age and long lines at gas sta­tions.

K.P. Oli, chief of the rul­ing UML party, said the In­dian gov­ern­ment, rather than de­mon­stra­tors, was re­spon­si­ble for the bor­der stop­page, in an unof­fi­cial protest over its dis­sat­is­fac­tion over the con­sti­tu­tion.

His com­ments re­flect mount­ing public anger in Nepal where many ac­cuse In­dia of be­ing be­hind the block­ade. New Delhi has de­nied the al­le­ga­tions and urged di­a­logue with the protesters to end the stand-off.

“In­dia is say­ing those peo­ple (protesters) are in no man’s land, they are block­ing the roads so (In­dian trucks) are not be­ing able to sup­ply, that’s not true,” he said.

“There is no gas, no veg­etable sup­plies, no fuel for ve­hi­cles, no fuel for air­lines, and life is about frozen,” Oli told AFP in an in­ter­view.

“We don’t want this type of friend­ship.”

“In­dia should not vi­o­late the treaties and agree­ments be­tween our two coun­tries, one. Sec­ond, In­dia shouldn’t un­der­mine and vi­o­late the in­ter­na­tional norms and rights of the land­locked coun­tries in gen­eral.”

More than 40 peo­ple have been killed in clashes be­tween po­lice and protesters rep­re­sent­ing eth­nic mi­nori­ties who say a new fed­eral struc­ture laid out in the con­sti­tu­tion will leave them un­der-rep­re­sented in the na­tional par­lia­ment.

New Delhi, fear­ing in­sta­bil­ity on the bor­der, has crit­i­cized Nepal for rush­ing the con­sti­tu­tion rather than re­solv­ing the con­cerns of the mi­nori­ties, many of whom have rel­a­tives liv­ing in In­dia.

Oli is seen as the top can­di­date when par­lia­ment votes on a new prime min­is­ter to head the gov­ern­ment in com­ing weeks in the wake of the con­sti­tu­tion’s adop­tion.

His com­ments sig­nify a stronger stand against In­dia which has tra­di­tion­ally ex­erted sig­nif­i­cant po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ence in Nepal.

The In­dian Oil Cor­po­ra­tion is the sole sup­plier of fuel to Nepal.

As cross-bor­der trade slowed to a crawl, with hun­dreds of trucks backed up at check­points in the plains, home to half the coun­try’s pop­u­la­tion, Nepal this week be­gan ra­tioning fuel and de­cided to limit the num­ber of ve­hi­cles al­lowed on the roads.

AFP

In this pho­to­graph taken on Mon­day, Sept. 28, Nepalese cy­clists ride near the Nepal-In­dia bor­der at Bir­gunj, some 90 kilo­me­ters south of Kathmandu.

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