Lawmakers voice concern over ‘Lipulek Agreement’, demand bringing facts to the fore

Kathmandu, July 1: The lawmakers speaking in the Legislature-Parliament today demanded that the government make its views clear regarding the agreement reached between China and India to developing the Nepali territory in Lipulek as a trade and transit point.

Seeking time from the Speaker, the lawmakers who spoke in the Parliament today called on the government to make Nepal’s official views clear at the earliest regarding the issue which, they said, undermines Nepal’s sovereignty.

UCPN (Maoist) lawmaker Janardan Sharma said it was not appropriate for the big countries to unilaterally sign agreement regarding the land belonging to Nepal disrespecting its sovereignty and alleged the government of delaying in taking the appropriate diplomatic initiatives for resolving the issue.

Chairman of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal, Kamal Thapa, said that the agreement signed by India and China regarding expanding their bilateral trade through a place at Lipulek in Darchula District of Nepal bordering the three countries has dragged a Nepali territory into controversy. He demanded not to proceed ahead with the regular business of the House until the government furnished explanation on this.

CPN (Marxist-Lrninist) lawmaker CP Mainali demanded that the dispute over the Kalapani with India be settled as per the agreement reached with the Government of India since the proposal of China and India to developing an area that falls in the Nepali territory into a transit point without Nepal’s knowing of it was wrong. He said it was a historically accepted fact that the portion of the Limpiyadhura itself was the Lipulek.

Anuradha Thapa Magar of the Nepal Workers and Peasants Party demanded that the Indian Army withdraw from Kalapani.

Chairman of the National People’s Front Chitra Bahadur KC termed the bilateral agreement between China and India on developing the Lipulejk as a trade transit point as a big blow to the Nepalis, saying the then Panchayati government of Nepal itself had given leeway to India to station its army at Kalapani.

Ganesh Thagunna of the CPN (UML) reiterated the need for the government to make its views public when Nepal’s territory has been encroached upon and protested the presence of the Indian army in Kalapani.

Bharat Bahadur Khadka of the Nepali Congress said India and China signing the said agreement on Lipulek without Nepal’s involvement has made the issue more complicated in the context of India’s accepting that Susta, Lipulek and Kalapani are disputed areas.

UCPN (Maoist) lawmaker Shyam Kumar Shrestha said various studies have shown that the river that flows down the Limpiyadhura itself is the Kali River, stressing on the need of all the parties building a united front and holding dialogue with China and India on the matter.

Speaker’s ruling

Responding to the lawnakers, Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang drew the serious attention of the government towards the issue, saying, “What is the reality of this, what has been the government doing so far, what has been happening on this, the people have the right to know about all this through the Parliament.”

He issued the ruling to the government that it should clarify about the matter at the start of the Parliament meeting tomorrow.

Agriculture minister criticized

In the meeting, the lawmakers also demanded action against Minister for Agriculture Development, Hari Prasad Parajuli, as the media has reported that he behaved in an indecent manner with a woman at a programme celebrating the National Paddy Day on Tuesday.

UCPN (Maoist) lawmaker Janardan Sharma and Nepal Workers and Peasants Pary’s Anuradha Thapa commented that the Minister’s conduct was disgraceful.

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