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Nepal's China-Card

Nepal's China-Card

'A favorite old formula of autocrats for playing China against India'

By Siddhi B. Ranjitkar

Why could Nepalese autocrats play a China-card effectively in the regional politics for continuing their unjust and undemocratic regime? Whenever Nepal had democratically elected governments, the Chinese autocrats lost the partners in autocratic governance giving way to the democratic countries such as India, the US, the UK and other European democratic governments to have more influence on the elected governments in Nepal than the Chinese Government. Naturally, often the Chinese Autocratic Proletarian Government got sidelined, and found ignored by elected governments in Nepal. The elected governments in Nepal tended to loosen their control over the Tibetan refugees in Nepal, and let them freely travel and engage in their activities for freedom in Tibet. Hence, the Chinese autocratic proletarian government always found democracy in Nepal as a threat to their oppressive rule in Tibet.

Whenever the Nepalese autocrats played the China-card, the first victims were the Tibetans fighting for freedom from the autocratic rule of the Chinese proletarian leaders, and another victim, of course, was the democracy in Nepal. This was true in 1960 when the former king Mahendra played the China-card to kill the infant democracy, and in 2005 when the current king Gyanendra played the China-card to throttle the flourishing democracy.

After the unification of small kingdoms and principalities into a present-day Nepal, King Prithvi Narayan Shah said, "Nepal is a yam sandwiched between two large stones."[1] He was referring to India to the South and China to the North as two large stones, and Nepal as a yam in between them. He left his advice to his future generations to follow the policy of not aligning with only one side - either to the north or to the south in other words to achieve a good balance between them.

In balancing between the two powerful countries - one to the south and another to the north, the rulers of Nepal had sometimes played one against another when the situation favorable to do so arose. For example, in 1960s, king Mahendra played a China-card effectively for suppressing the opposition political activities on the borders with India. King Mahendra told the then-Indian Ambassador Shriman Narayan "Your Excellency, I am obliged for the sincere steps you have taken to bring about peace on our southern border. There are still a few stray cases of trespasses and conflicts here and there. But I do realize that it is not very easy to control such incidents completely along the long Indo-Nepal border of several hundred miles. I am sure your honest efforts would continue. On my part, I and my government have now decided to request China to abandon the eastern sector of the East-West Highway and initiate a fresh survey for another road somewhere in the middle regions of Nepal."[2] At that time, Indian authorities did not want Chinese closer to Indian borders.

Indian Ambassador, Shriman Narayan replied, "I personally visited the Indo-Nepal border quite extensively and asked the district authorities to restrain effectively the Nepalese citizens from indulging in undesirable activities against the king and his government from the Indian soil. I also met a number of workers of the Nepali Congress in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal and plainly told them that India would no longer allow them to operate against the friendly kingdom."[3]

King Mahendra suppressed the voices of Tibetan refugees in Nepal, and stopped any political activities of them from Nepal against he Peoples' Republic of China in 1960s. Later on, King Birendra also eliminated the Khampa rebels fighting against the Chinese rule in Tibet from the northern border of Nepal in 1970s.

Before taking over the executive power on February 1, 2005, King Gyanendra shut down the offices of Representatives of Dalai Lama and of Tibetan Refugees in Nepal. Obviously, this was done to keep the Chinese Government happy. The king was sure that India and the western countries would not support his actions of usurping the power from the elected government. So, he wanted to keep at least one neighbor happy and in his favor.

Then came the February-1 putsch staged by King Gyanendra keeping the whole country in darkness for a whole week by snapping communication lines and closing the media. Describing it as an internal matter, Beijing refrained from taking any stand on the King Gyanendra’s February-1 takeover. Thus, China has taken a friendly attitude toward the king in Nepal.

India, the US, the UK and the international community as a whole condemned the putsch and suspended the military supplies to the Royal Nepalese Army. The king could not convince the international community that his army would not use the arms and ammunition against the people fighting for fundamental human rights and democracy in the country. So, the embargo remained.

Pursuant to the Nepal-India Treaty of 1950, Nepal needs to consult with India to import arms and ammunition from the third party country. At that time, Nepal and India had this treaty done to cater the needs for countering the threat from the People's Republic of China that had captured Tibet by force in 1949. Pursuant to this treaty, India could halt or check any arms and ammunition passing through its territory to Nepal. India did not have any means to check the arms supply to Nepal by China if they came from China to Nepal through Tibet.

Nepal could not receive weapons from Pakistan despite Pakistan's strong desire to supply weapons to Nepal after India, the US and the UK have suspended arms supply to Nepal since the February-1 move of the king because India could certainly stop any arms going to Nepal through its territory.

The Nepali monarch desperately sought arms from China, and received 18 truckloads of arms and ammunition from it. According to media reports, the Chinese army escorted eighteen trucks carrying arms and ammunition to Nepal’s border where plain-clothes Nepalese troops took over in November 2005.

Supplying lethal weapons to Nepal, China not only demonstrated its disregard for suppression of democracy, civil liberties and human rights but also added fuel to the further bloodshed in Nepal. It is understandable that the Chinese communists have no regards for democracy, civil liberties and human rights as the communists believe in subjection of individuals to the dictatorship of the proletariats. However, supplying lethal arms, the Chinese government added fuel to the political conflict in Nepal and had shown disregard for human blood.

'The Indian Express' wrote: the continuing Chinese arms supply to Kathmandu is more than a tactical threat to India’s attempt at promoting democracy and stability in Nepal. The time is running out for the Indian Government to get its Nepal act together and compel King Gyanendra to pay the costs of the China-card he has chosen to play against India. Much like his father, Mahendra, who cozened up to Beijing in the early 1960s amidst rising Sino-Indian tensions, the present monarch thinks he can hustle India into legitimizing his power grab. Unable to engineer a split in the coalition between India and the Anglo- American powers, King Gyanendra has put all his eggs in the China basket. This was evident at the regional summit earlier this month in Dhaka, when Nepal became the most vocal supporter of immediate Chinese affiliation with SAARC. [4]

Academic Govinda Bhatta wrote in 'Jana Bhawana' that ff media reports are any indication; foreign powers are making the Chinese military assistance to Nepal an excuse to intervene in the Nepali’s internal affairs. Efforts are on to implicate Nepal in the international strategic campaign against China. Such campaigners have been saying that Nepal has tilted toward China and that there is increasing Chinese influence in Nepal. But, the fact remains that Nepal has not changed its foreign policy. We still believe in the policy of neutrality and non-alignment. [5]

Sandhaya Jain wrote that by choosing to isolate King Gyanendra of Nepal and support discredited and thoroughly corrupt politicians and the Maoists after last February's palace coup, the Indian Government adopted a disastrous policy on Nepal. After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his team decided to suspend arms supplies to the Royal Nepal Army needed to combat the Maoist terrorists, King Gyanendra has been forced to look toward China. Ironically, India broke up its long-standing policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of another sovereign state successfully lobbying the US and the EU for putting pressure on the King for restoration of democracy. [6]

On Sunday, December 11, 2005, former Nepalese Minister for Industries and senior leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist), Keshab Badal told The Hindu (independent Indian newspaper) in Kolkata, "We urge the Indian Government not to lend any support to the Nepal Government that could end up with the latter turning even more repressive towards the movement for democracy in Nepal. We seek the sympathy of the Indian Government in our endeavors to replace the monarchy in Nepal with a democratic republic. The Government headed by the King is stockpiling arms and procuring weapons in preparation for the bloodiest civil war in the country."

On Sunday, December 11, 2005, leading a four-member delegation, Indian Foreign Secretary and Former Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Shyam Sharan arrived in Kathmandu for a three-day visit to Nepal.

On Tuesday afternoon, December 13, 2005 before returning to New Delhi, addressing a press conference on the Indian embassy premises at Lainchour in Kathmandu, Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Sharan said, “there has been no change in the India's stance on the early restoration of multi-party democracy and constitutional monarchy in Nepal. Restoration of peace and stability and economic recovery in Nepal is not only in the interest of Nepal, but also in the India’s interest. Unity among constitutional forces is essential to achieve the goal of peace and stability in the country. India is always ready to support all efforts aimed at bringing a peaceful resolution to the problems confronting Nepal.” In his 10-minute long press conference, concerning the military assistance to Nepal, Secretary Sharan said, “At the moment we do not have Indian arms coming to Nepal but other aspects of our cooperation to Nepal including the RNA (Royal Nepalese Army) is continuing. For example, training for RNA is still continuing.” On his meeting with King Gyanendra, Secretary Sharan said, "His Majesty conveyed to me that he remains committed to multi-party democracy and constitutional monarchy and that there should not be any doubt in his commitment." While answering reporters’ queries, Secretary Sharan said India and China were not competing in Nepal, but both want a stable and prosperous Nepal."

On Thursday, December 15, 2005, 'Daily Times' online (a new voice for a new Pakistan) reported from New Delhi, India, quoting 'The Asian Age' newspaper that on Tuesday speaking to reporters on his return from a three-day visit to Nepal, Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Sharan said, “We would trust that India and China are not seen as somehow competing with each other for any kind of influence in Nepal.” He said, "India believes both New Delhi and Beijing share a common ‘objective’ of seeing the return of peace and stability to Nepal."

India has called on China to stop supplying arms and ammunition to Nepal and join international efforts to force King Gyanendra to restore democracy following his takeover in February. Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Sharan, said on a visit to Nepal: "The international community has taken a position in order to foster the process of reconciliation among political forces here and we would hope that not only China but other countries join in that effort." "Nepal's efforts to lure a largely Tibet-focused China into showing it can play a role in south Asia may not be worth angering India. Feeling in New Delhi is already quite anti-king," a western diplomat said. [7]

Foreign Secretary Shyam Sharan hinted that India’s relations with Nepal have resumed after a deep freeze of almost ten months but it was not the business as usual yet. Secretary Sharan said his visit to Nepal was follow-on to the meeting between King Gyanendra and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Dhaka. At that meeting, both the king and the Prime Minister agreed to be in touch at different levels. Although Secretary Sharan refrained from making any comment on political overtones, he managed to convey the message to all persons he had met in Nepal that occasional ‘‘pin-pricks’’ by Nepal, such as procuring arms from China, would only complicate the relations between two countries. [8]

On December 19, 2005, Indian Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that the arms supply and military training provide by China and Pakistan to Kathmandu was a concern, and the Indian government was addressing it through its diplomatic missions in both those countries ‘‘A problem is there. We have taken it up diplomatically. Let us see how it can be resolved,’’ said Mukherjee. [9]

Deputy Director of the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses, a leading security think tank in India, Commodore C. Uday Bhaskar said, "India should mount a wholehearted politico-military initiative to ensure that Nepal's military orientation remains with India. "There is a strategic dimension to India's relationship with Nepal and it has to be handled carefully," Bhaskar told IANS. An expert on South Asia at Jawaharlal Nehru University, S.D. Muni said, "I understand the matter has been taken up diplomatically. India's foreign secretary went there with a clear message but if it is more than just a one-time affair, then we have to put pressure (on Nepal)." [10]

After a virtual embargo of arms imposed by New Delhi on the king's army, there has been furious military-diplomatic activity among Nepal, China and Pakistan. After an October-visit to Beijing where he struck a deal for the supply of certain weapon systems from China, Nepal’s Army Chief of Staff General Pyar Jung Thapa returned from Islamabad on Saturday, December 17, 2005; where he was offered comprehensive training capsules for the RNA soldiers. On Sunday, December 18, 2005, in a press release, the RNA’s Department of Public Relations (DPR) said that the delegation of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China led by Deputy Commander of Chengu Military Region Command Lieutenant General Gui Quanzhi met RNA Chief of Staff General Pyar Jung Thapa. Four other senior military officials of the PLA and the Chinese military attaché were present on the meeting at the RNA headquarters. However, no details about the meeting were given.

The cash-strapped RNA paid US$80,000 to buy 18,000 grenades and four million rounds of 7.62mm bullets from 'Poly Technologies Incorporated' in Beijing by November 15, 2005 while ignoring to pay off the older debts to India that have mounted up to over US$26 million. In a surprisingly prompt transaction, the consignments arrived in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu on November 22 a week after the payment was made. India had been selling weapons and equipment to the RNA at a 70 per cent mark-off before it suspended military supplies to Nepal in February 2005 to show concern over Nepalese King Gyanendra’s power grab with the help of the army. Defense sources in Nepal said that the prompt payment to the Chinese company was made due to the commissions involved. A section of senior officers in the RNA had been unhappy with the Indian military aid, as it bypassed the commission agents. [11]

China has increased its activities in various aspects of the Nepalese life. For example, Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) and Nepal-China Executives Council (NCEC) signed a Memorandum of understanding (M. O. U) on Sunday, December 25, 2005. On behalf of their respective organization, Secretary General of CPAFFC, Zhu Changbing, and General Secretary of NCEC, Rajendra Nakarmi signed on the document. According to the M. O. U, both the CPAFFC and the NCEC shall cooperate on the promotion and expansion of cooperation in the field of trade, tourism and cultural exchanges, and shall act as facilitators to promote and strengthen investment and entrepreneurial relationship between Nepal and China.

Vice-chairmen of the Council of Ministers Kirti Nidhi Bista met Chen Haosu, a visiting Chinese delegation leader and Chairman of CPAFFC. "Nepal-China relations, having a long and illustrious history of friendship, excellent relationship and exchanges, have taken a new dimension and reached a new height after the establishment of diplomatic relations on Aug. 1, 1955," said Bista at the meeting. "Nowadays, mutual understanding, respect and trust, and treating each other equally have become salient characters of China-Nepal relations," said Chen Haosu at the meeting. Leading a 12-member delegation of CPAFFC, Chen arrived in Kathmandu on Thursday, December 22, 2005 for a five-day-long visit to Nepal. [12]

On December 26, 2005, Minister of State for Information and Communications Shrish Shumsher JB Rana inaugurated the three-day Nepal-China postage stamp exhibition held to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries at Nepal Art Council in Kathmandu. On the occasion, Minister of State Rana affixed the first cancellation mark on the commemorative stamp on Nepal-China diplomatic relations. (Nepalese media)

A Nepalese non-governmental friendship organization called China Study Center (CSC) has set up its Eastern Region Chapter (ERC) in Biratnagar, about 400 km east of Kathmandu. "The founding of the CSC's Eastern Region Chapter (ERC) is of great importance because Biratnagar is a very important city in Nepal for its status of industrial area, trade center and the second largest town of the country," said Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Sun Heping at the inaugural function of the ERC. He said, "Therefore, there are more opportunities for China-Nepal trade cooperation and will surely bring the entrepreneurs in eastern part of Nepal closer to China. This newly founded ERC will play an important role in eastern Nepal to bridge the two countries in disseminating information on both China and Nepal."

On the occasion, Chairman of the ERC of the CSC, Jana Bandhu Karki said the founding of the ERC is a symbol of Nepal's efforts on strengthening the relationship with its "good partner and a growing economic power", China. Founded in 2000, the CSC has already set up its branches in Nepal's major cities such as Khandbari, Chitwan, Dhulikhel, Pokhara, Butwal, Lumbini and Nepalgunj. [13]

On January 03, 2006, Xinhuanet reported that the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal said that China accorded a high priority to the construction of the proposed Koshi-Lhasa Highway linking Nepal's eastern zones with China's Tibet Autonomous Region. At an interaction program held by the Morang Trade Association, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Sun Heping said, "We have given this highway a high priority. Among the 10 highways that link Nepal with China, this was the most important highway. However, the Nepali Government needed to request the Chinese authorities officially for the construction of the highway." In addition, the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal said that the request to open a Consulate General's Office in Biratnagar could be considered after consultations with the government. "All of the businessmen of the eastern zones have been calling for Chinese help in the construction of the highway because it will benefit trade between China and eastern Nepal," said Kishor Pradhan, central member of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

King Gyanendra toyed with a plan to let China and Pakistan open consulates in the sensitive Indo-Nepal border areas; the (Indian) Government communicated its strong displeasure to Kathmandu. China is apparently ready to open a consulate at Biratnagar at the border between eastern Nepal and Bihar. Pakistan, not to be left behind, is keen to open shop at Birganj in central Nepal region that also borders Bihar. While King Gyanendra might hope that his threat to draw in China and Pakistan closer to him would force New Delhi to soften its policies, the indications are that the move could further undermine the limited support the monarchy enjoyed in New Delhi. [14]

The (Pakistani) Foreign Office has warned the (Pakistani) Government that India and Nepal were in the process of finalizing a "secret extradition treaty" that might endanger safety of Pakistanis there as the agreement would give full power to New Delhi to get hold of any Pakistani national working or visiting Kathmandu. The (Pakistani) Foreign Office has proposed to the (Pakistani) Government that as a "counter step" Pakistan should immediately sign an agreement with Nepal to save its own citizens from being extradited to India from Kathmandu. In the light of Foreign Office and Interior Ministry’s joint proposal, Foreign Office officials confirmed the cabinet has approved singing of an agreement with Nepal in one of the recent meetings presided over by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. [15]

In a New Year's Day message to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Indian Prime minister Manmohan Singh said that the two populous Asian neighbors must make 2006 the year of India-China friendship in line with the pledge made last year. Prime Minister Singh also said both India and China have made progress in negotiations over thorny issues such as a border dispute, which resulted in a brief but a bloody war in 1962. Indian foreign ministry officials said that Chinese Premier Wen replied to the Indian Prime Minister Singh's New Year's greeting on an equally positive note. "China is ready to work with India to continuously deepen the contents of our bilateral relations and push forward the China-India strategic and partnership in an all-round and in-depth way," said Premier Wen in his message. A formal ceasefire line has yet to be established following the war but the unsettled border has remained largely peaceful following agreements signed in 1993 and 1996. India says China occupies 38,000 square kilometers of Indian Territory in Kashmir while Beijing claims that the 90,000-square kilometers Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh belongs to China. [16]

Ingratiating to Beijing, King Gyanendra has been using his father’s policy of playing India off against China. Critics point out that this policy was made at a time when Nepal’s two giant neighbors had just fought a bruising war in 1962. Today, China and India are bhai-bhai (friends) again; this strategy is hopelessly outdated. However, India’s lingering memory of being ‘stabbed in the back’ in 1962 is so strong there is growing alarm that South Block’s diplomacy toward Nepal has been ‘pushing Kathmandu into the Chinese fold’. Until recently, conventional wisdom has been that rapprochement between China and India meant the two weren’t competing with each other in Nepal or elsewhere. While many still adhere to this view, some aren’t so sure any more. In fact, those who talk about a benign China are now often labeled in the Indian press as ‘Beijing apologists’ and part of a ‘pro-China lobby’. King Gyanendra’s strategy of obtaining military aid and buying arms and ammunition from China and Pakistan has worked brilliantly to stoke fears in New Delhi about Nepal going over to the other side. Even though the recent $1 million military grant and the 18 trucks of grenades and bullets from China last month may not have been substantial, its prominent coverage in the Indian media stoked suspicions again. However, the Sino phobia is restricted to a relatively small section of the military-intelligence establishment and the political opposition. A large number of people in the political and business sector is more worried about how India can keep pace with China’s blistering economic growth and emulate its success in wooing foreign direct investment. [17]

Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Shiv Shankar Mukherjee said India had very high stakes in Nepal and was very concerned with the latest developments in Nepal. Ambassador Mukherjee said that the constitutional monarchy should remain the symbol of unity, continuity and integrity of the nation and should not compete with the political parties for power. “The most sane, non-violent and practical way out is for the palace to reach out to parties and together bring Maoists to mainstream,” said Ambassador Mukherjee. Responding to a query on the Indian embargo on arms supply to Nepal, Ambassador Mukherjee said, “We had helped Royal Nepalese Army to battle insurgency. After February 1, 2005, it was no longer the previous situation.” Ambassador Mukherjee did not see it that Nepal was trying to use “China card” against India. He, however, said, “We expect all members of the international community, including China, not to add to complications.” [18]

Referring to the interview by Indian Ambassador Shiv Shanker Mukherjee to the private television in Kathmandu, Former Army Chief of Staff and Member of the Standing Committee of the Privy Council, Satchit Shumsher Rana said, "It is against diplomatic norms to give unwanted advice to the King." Mr. Rana also said, "If the King had been active in politics, he would have opened a political party and the seven parties (agitating against the king's direct rule) would have been wiped out." [19]

In a press-meet in Beijing, Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Sharan said that he had held talks with his Chinese counterpart li Jhaoji on the Nepalese politics and the situation evolving there. Secretary Sharan disclosed that he had conveyed India’s concern over the deteriorating economy and political upheavals in Nepal, and the Chinese arms supply to Nepal in the recent days, as it would compound the political problems and prolong the ongoing Maoist insurgency, to his Chinese counterpart during the meeting. Secretary Sharan said that the Chinese made it clear to him that the China's policy toward Nepal is non-interference in the internal affairs of Nepal. [20]

The Nepalese king deals a fake-China card. All sides except for the palace laugh off the bid to pressure India. The monarchy sought to manipulate India by threatening it with the China card. Sometimes there is a hint of arms supplies from Beijing and at other times a possibility of allowing them to open a consulate on the Indo-Nepal border. However, it is clear that there is no China card that Kathmandu can play. The Nepalese democratic political parties are dismissive of it, Western diplomats are impatient with any such suggestion and Indian diplomats certainly do not believe in its existence. A European diplomat based in Kathmandu explained: “There is no China card. But the perception of the China card is more important than the card. It is a classical case of manipulation by the palace. If people believe that there is a China card, the king’s purpose is served.” The “China card” seems all about trying to force India to help legitimize the king and his actions. Even if a consignment of weapons did come from Beijing, Chinese diplomats are now backtracking. General Secretary of the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist), Madhav Kumar Nepal said, “I told the Chinese ambassador that if they are indeed arming the RNA, then it is not good. He told me that they have not provided any weapons.” The Chinese ambassador conveyed the same message to President of the Nepali Congress, Girija Prasad Koirala. President Koirala confirmed this and added, “India should rid itself of the mental make-up arising out of the 1962 war with China. That situation cannot be repeated. It is the king who is trying to play on that fear psychosis by showing the China card. All these cards will fail. India need not get bothered with this.” President Koirala said he was aware that the Indian diplomats were in constant dialogue with the Chinese and there was a lot of understanding between them. “We also appeal to the Chinese and the Pakistanis not to fish in Nepal’s troubles and do anything that appears to help the autocratic king. That will not benefit Nepal and destroy the prospects for peace,” said he. [21]

As long as the Chinese occupation of Tibet will be intact, the Nepalese autocrats could play a China-card. Therefore, not only the Nepalese autocrats but also the Chinese occupation of Tibet is a threat to democracy in Nepal. The Chinese Proletarian Government would do its best to block the flourishing of democracy in Nepal, as democrats would be in favor of Tibetans fighting for the freedom from the foreign occupation of their homeland. Thus, the root cause of unstable democracy in Nepal is the loss of Tibet to the Chinese Proletarian Government making it possible for the Nepalese autocrats to play the China-card whenever the need arises.

(Siddhi B. Ranjitkar is a political analyst in Kathmandu. Email: srilaxmi@wlink.com.np)

Footnotes

[1] Dibyopadesh (Guidelines on Statecraft) by Former King Prithvi Narayan Shah

[2] As quoted in page 124 of the "India and Nepal: An Exercise in Open Diplomacy" by Shriman Narayan, Indian Ambassador to Nepal in 1960s published by Hind Pocket Books (P) Ltd. 1971.

[3] On the pages 123 and 124 of "India and Nepal: An Exercise in Open Diplomacy" by Shriman Narayan.

[4] 'The Indian Express' of November 28, 2005 under the title " The King and We: Squeeze Nepal’s ruler. Trump the China card "

[5] As reported in the 'Nepali Times' under the title 'From The Nepalese Press'

[6]'The Pioneer' under the title 'Our Loss In Nepal'

[7] Jo Johnson and Binod Bhattarai wrote from Kathmandu in 'Financial Times' U.K. published on December 14, 2005

[8] Yubaraj Ghimire wrote in 'The Indian Express' of December 14, 2005,

[[9] The Indian Express' of December 20, 2005.

[10] NEWKERALA.COM

[11] ISN SECURITY WATCH (27/12/05), ISN, SWITZERLAND, online

[12] Xinhua

[13] Xinhua

[14] C RAJA MOHAN in 'The Indian Express' of January 10, 2006

[15] PAKISTAN LINK News in Islamabad on December 28, 2005,

[16] AFP news from New Delhi on January 01, 2006

[17] Kunda Dixit writing from New Delhi for the 'Nepali Times' of December 30, 2005-January 5, 2006

[18] In an exclusive interview with the 'talk show' called Frontline run by Mr. Bijaya Kumar Pandey of the private sector Kantipur Television on Sunday evening of January 11, 2006.

[19] Press Trust of India (PTI) January 11, 2006

[20] eKantipur.com Jan 12, 2006, China, India discuss Nepal politics

[21] The Telegraph Calcutta, 'King deals fake China card' by Bharat Bhushan, Kathmandu January 13, 2006

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