It is praiseworthy. However, while they are preparing for global conference, Nepal is under India’s ‘unofficial blockade’. The lives of Nepalis have been hit hard by the shortage of essential goods, including petroleum products, and even medicine in some parts of the country. In the current situation of humanitarian crisis, the NRNs have failed their motherland, in their own words.
“We discussed Nepal’s current issues in the meeting of International Coordination Council (ICC),” said Non-Resident Nepalis Association (NRNA) vice president Bhawan Bhatta.
The NRNs, who have resources and network across the globe, apart from their formal institution in 71 countries, have failed to prove that they really care for their motherland. They have been repeatedly claiming that the country can use their expertise and network for the benefit of Nepal, if the government award them citizenship. The new constitution of the country – that has become the key reason for the current unofficial blockade by India – has given NRNs the right to get special citizenship. The NRNs have welcomed the provision, but failed to help the country at this critical juncture.
However, Bhatta said that the NRNs raised the issue of current crisis in the ICC meeting. “Majority of the NRNs feel that they have to internationalise the current crisis,” he said, adding that they had also planned a symbolic programme in all the 71 countries at the same time and on the same date. “But the ICC meeting did not endorse the agenda.”
However, Japan National Coordination Council (NCC) – in Bhatta's leadership – organised a symbolic programme in Tokyo.
After Nepal promulgated new constitution with 90 per cent majority on September 20, India has stopped movement of cargo trucks at its border points, blaming the protests Tarai-Madhesh districts. Nepal is not only landlocked, but also India-locked as the country is surrounded by India in the east, west and south. The behaviour of New Delhi with a small country like Nepal has not only affected lives of Nepalis but also left bordering Indian markets deserted.
Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) – the state-owned oil monopoly – has been rationing petroleum products to manage the situation. Because of the Indian blockade and shortage of petroleum products, the country is going to lose more than what it lost from the devastating earthquake in April and May. Schools and industries have been shut down, and long queues have been formed at handful of pumps distributing fuel. The blockade has dealt severe blow on the already shattered Nepali economy.
Though NRNA has been involved in various activities under its charity programme, including the plan to rebuild 1,000 houses for earthquake victims within two years, it has to come up to help the country in situation like this.
The NRNA General Assembly and Global Conference that is being held in Kathmandu from October 14 to 17 is going to see around 1,500 delegates from various countries. The conference is also going to elect a new executive committee for a two-year term. But the conference will also have to come up with clear and concrete plans, apart from reconstruction and rebuilding, to help their motherland at this critical time. Because its their turn to help Nepal.