China influence sees Nepal open probe against two MPs

DHARAMSALA, 15 May: China may as well be calling the shots in Nepal as it has pressed Nepal to open a probe over the participation of its two members of the House of Representatives at the World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet earlier this month.

The Parliament Secretariat of Nepal has launched an investigation into the participation of its two lawmakers; Ekwal Miya and Pradip Yadav at the 7th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet held earlier this month in Riga, Latvia over 7-10 May after its all-weather friend China voiced serious objections over their participation.

Chinese embassy officials in Kathmandu have reportedly expressed their objections to Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara and the latter has inquired Ekwal Miya, a lawmaker from the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal, if he had participated in the programme held in the Latvian capital Riga earlier this month while Pradip Yadav, the other lawmaker who had accompanied Miya, was absent in the House, according to a report on The Kathmandu Post.

The development came days after three journalists in Nepal were investigated by the state for publishing a news item on His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s health in April 2019, coincidently, both the probe was initiated after concerns were raised by the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu.

According to the report, Dilli Malla, the press advisor to the Speaker has said that the Speaker has started the investigation to establish if the lawmaker duo’s participation was intentional or accidental.

The report further quoted two unnamed officials from the secretariat as stating that while the matter came to the speakers notice after it appeared in the news, the officials have also revealed that representatives from the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu had called authorities at the secretariat and expressed their “serious concern” over the lawmakers’ participation in the Tibet forum.

The two MPs were also being investigated over the matter by their respective parties as well.

Nepal’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement it issued yesterday it was unaware of the lawmakers’ trip and it continues to support One-China policy.

“Nepal firmly stands on its One-China policy and does not allow any activity contrary to it on its soil,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, the lawmakers have claimed that they decided to take part in the event because they were unaware of its link with the Tibet movement.

“They [organisers] said it was an international conference of the lawmakers but actually it wasn’t that,” he told the Post. “We were shocked when the programme began and we immediately left the venue,” Yadav was quoted as saying in the report.

Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE) in association with Latvian Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet and International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet (INPaT) organised the 7th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet (WPCT) in Riga, Latvia.

The four-day convention was attended by over 100 participants including 25 Members of Parliament from Australia, New Zealand, France, Romania, Canada, Czech Republic, Lithuania, India, Nepal, Chile, Latvia, UK, and Scotland.

China exerting pressure and using its might to distance politicians and leaders around the world to distance from the Tibetan movement is a commonplace. The CTA has thanked the participating Members of Parliament “who came to Riga despite having been pressured by the Government of the People’s Republic of China not to attend the forum,” in its declaration issued following the conclusion of the convention.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *