शुक्रबार, साउन १५ २०७८
काठमाडौं ०६:५८
वासिङटन डिसी 21:13

Appeal to NRN members to participate in the protest demonstration against Indi’s Trade Embargo in Nepal

इनेप्लिज २०७२ कार्तिक २८ गते २०:५९ मा प्रकाशित

prof Gopi Upreti

Dear friends

We all know that the situation in Nepal is deteriorating and Nepali people are experiencing untold miseries from Indian government’ trade embargo against Nepal under the pretext of the ongoing agitation in Madesh terai region following the promulgation of the constitution of Nepal. The Indian government’s trade blockade has caused catastrophic economic degradation and the untold miseries in the country.  This illegal and inhuman act of Indian government has not only doubled down on the miseries of devastating Earth quake but also critically jeopardized the very survival of the people due to the shortage of the medical supplies, life-saving drugs and essential goods like gasoline, petroleum and foods let alone talk about the colossal economic and social loss. The impact of this illegal trade blockade is not limited only to the people living in Kathmandu but all over the country and madesh terai being worst affected.

It is interesting to note that India has freed itself from the British colony in 1947 but its ruling elites (the Indian establishment) ever since has not stopped operating from colonial mindset while treating and dealing with its neighbors in South Asia. It is equally grotesque and ludicrous to see India boasting itself as the largest democracy in the world on one hand and bullying its small neighbors with the tentacles of economic strangulation on the other hand.       

International laws and instruments

As a landlocked country, Nepal has the rights to import and export all kinds of goods and services not to mention the essential goods, medicines and hospital supplies without any interruption from the trade route grantor country (India).  India is legally obliged to grant and facilitate the movement of the traded goods and services at the transit point on Indian side. As per the provision of the international law pertaining to the landlocked countries, the land locked countries have the rights to access the traded goods and services from the countries it has been landlocked. India’s denial that it has not caused any obstruction in the movement of the traded goods and services from India’s trade entry points particularly the Birganj/Rauxol is a blatant lie and this is not the first time that India has imposed trade embargo on Nepal. This is actually the third time that India has blockaded Nepal in an attempt to impose its hidden agenda.

This embargo is a blatant violation of South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) and also the World Trade Agreement (WTO) in which, both India and Nepal are signatories and are obliged to honor the rights of the member countries granted by the provisions in those agreements. The provisions in WTO and the provisions pertaining to the landlocked countries’ trades and transit rights clearly stipulate that the participating countries must oblige to these provisions. A legal litigation can be filed against the countries violating these agreements in the international court of law and international human rights commission because the trade obstructions or the blockade of essential goods and services such as life-saving drugs, medical and hospital supplies and other essential goods like gasoline/petroleum result in the violations of the fundamental human rights of the people, the rights of the people to live with dignity in the landlocked countries. What is important for India to understand is that it must honor Nepal’s trade rights as landlocked country without any pre-condition or pretext whatsoever. What India has done clearly demonstrates that it is interfering into the internal affairs of Nepal and is treating Nepal as its colony not as a sovereign country which is the result of colonial mindset of the Indian ruling establishment.

What Nepal government should do ?

The Indian trade embargo has crippled and paralyzed the economy and social life of Nepali people and has violated fundamental human rights of people of Nepal to live with dignity.  Nepal government must use all available resources and mobilize the diplomatic channels and make its position clear to the international communities, and, if necessary file litigation against India in international court of law and human rights commission. Nepal should articulate its concerns and inform international communities about the impacts of such inhuman acts of India’s Modi government and formally lodge a protest in the security council of United Nations (UN). Nepal can also raise this issue within SARC as India’s blockade has violated the sprit of SAFTA.  The association of landlocked countries within United Nations is another powerful institution where Nepal can present its case as a member country to create international diplomatic pressure on India.  Nepal can also present its case in the security council of United Nations against the impacts of the trade blockade of India. The foreign ministry of Nepal should give a clear direction and mandates to its foreign diplomatic missions and embassies abroad particularly at UN, USA, Great Britain and European Union to present Nepal’s case and lobby for the diplomatic pressure on India for the removal of trade embargo.

What NRNs can do ?

When a nation is in crisis and its people are being deprived of the basic fundamental human rights, the rights to live with dignity, by the inhuman act of another country, people from all walks of life must get united irrespective of their differences and regardless of where they are living (in the country or outside their country).  NRNs in diaspora have been launching the protest demonstration against India’s trade embargo in Europe, middle-east and many other parts of the world. The recent protest demonstration in London following Indian primer, Mr. Modi’s visit by NRNs living in Great Britain is a spectacular one. It was massive and quite effective in presenting Nepali people’s concern and informing Great Britain’s politicians and British society about the plights of Nepali people. NRNs and the local organizations involved in this demonstration deserve our especial appreciation for inspiring NRNs living in other parts of the world.

Individuals and local organizations of Nepali diaspora living in Virginia, Maryland, sub-urban areas of Washington DC metro and other states of USA have been preparing for a protest demonstration against India’s trade embargo on 22nd November, 2015 in front of Whitehouse and Congress in Washington DC, the capital of the United Stated of America. Dear friends, let us participate in this demonstration and exhibit our solidarity with the people of Nepal and inform the international community, in general, and the Congressmen, senators and the office of the president (state department), in particular, about the miseries and plight of Nepali people following Modi government’s inhuman act of trade embargo in Nepal. The larger the participation, greater would be the impact. As a life member of NRN, I would like to urge all NRN friends, local organizations, leaders of the communities, teachers, professors, researchers, professionals and members of the academia to participate in this demonstration.

Very Respectfully

Prof. Gopi Upreti

Founder President

Humanist Association of Nepal (HUMAN)

Email: [email protected]