REPORTERS CLUB EVENT: Former Deputy Prime Minister and standing committee member of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Bhim Rawal has clarified and warned the Nepalese citizens that there are certain provisions in the compact agreement signed with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) that are against the national interests of Nepal, and he has urged every nationalist’s attention toward it.
Speaking at a special interaction program at the Reporters Club officiated by the President and senior journalist Rishi Dhamala today, the former DPM clarified provisions that would hurt the prospects of Nepal in the long run.
“We brought a constitution and a system in place. Let me bring to your attention that Nepal believes in the principles of Panchsheel. We have a constitution that rests on the core principle of mutual respect, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the importance of rights and self-determination”.
“Any nationalist of any other political party also would have raised similar concerns, and every party is on the same page when it comes to the territorial integrity of the Nation. When the MCC agreement was made there were several statements that were made. Some said that we have to accept the aid at any given cost, but I would like to say that are we keeping in mind our national integrity, sovereignty and our foreign policy that may be at risk in the future”? We have to draw every nationalist’s attention in this regard”.
“When the agreement was handed out in the House of Representatives (HoR) I had gone through every page of the document. We have to clarify and bring the people out of the dark. Two of the United States Foreign Officials had stated that the MCC that is granting the aid of 500 million United States Dollar (USD), is a part of the Indo-Pacific Strategy that the US devised after 2001 attach on their soil”
“Alice Wells and David J Ranz had made statements regarding the MCC being part of the Indo-Pacific strategy. Can the Nepali leaders now claim that those statements were never made? This has to be clarified to the Nepalese public”.
The former DPM also raised several questions regarding the MCC. According to clause 7 part 1 of the agreement if there is a conflict regarding the agreement then the laws of the MCC would apply over the Nepalese constitution. That is directly against the interest of our nation. In clause 3 part 3, the property rights are given entirely to the MCC and not to Nepal. Finally, in clause 3 part 3 and subpart 8, the entire monitoring will be done by the US and not by Nepal”.
(Former Deputy Prime Minister Bhim Rawal)
“Nepal has also invested over 13 billion Nepalese rupees (NRs) in this MCC project. Why is there no consideration regarding our sovereign rights, and the use of our taxpayer‘s money? There is also a provision where we have to take permission from India regarding project implementation, is this project a part of a tripartite agreement? Is this in line with international law, are we firm enough to make our own decisions regarding this agreement, what about our integrity as a nation”.
“There are many proponents who have blindly stated that we have to support this agreement at any cost. This is an agreement where a third nation is involved and we have to look into each and every detail. Why is this project not being implemented in Sudurpaschim (Far-Western) Province and Karnali Province? It is a huge amount and a lot of developmental activities can take place especially in these two states that need it the most”.
Dhamala who was officiating the program responded by stating “the Prime Minister has said that the agreement will be passed in the Parliament. The former DPM responded by saying “the government is answerable and should be responsible toward the citizens, it is an integral part of democracy. On index 1 of the agreement, the Government of Nepal (GoN) has to take permission from the MCC on various decision-making provisions, where is our sovereignty in this matter? Do you think that any other country would have accepted such terms and conditions? I am not against the MCC I am raising questions on behalf of my people and these are important aspects to consider”.
The former DPM further clarified that “the MCC was established back in 2004. Nepal and SriLanka were included in the ICP in 2011. The strategy here was extremely clear. We have faced many unequal treaties and agreements in the past. Let is not commit that same mistake again. Leaders like Sher Bahadur Deuba must be answerable, even India released a map unilaterally showing Nepali territories in Darchula the areas of Kalapani, Lipulek, and Limpiadhura as part of theirs.
“I have also noticed that when it comes to major agreements the ruling and the opposition seem to come into an agreement without considering the prospects of the Nation. With these unequal treaties have always weakened ourselves. We cannot let that happen anymore”.
“I am not against the aid being given by the Americans, but we have to make things clear and have an equal agreement. I have humbly raised these questions that here are certain portions of the agreement that are not in favor of our national interest. This has to be taken as a warning, anything that is against our national interest and that which puts our sovereignty in danger. The foreign ministries of both countries have to work together for a mutually equal agreement. We cannot tolerate our motherland being ripped apart while we sit on the throne of gold and continue watching”.
“Due to unequal treaties of the past, we have seen our people killed in the battles of Argentina and the Jaffna peninsula in SriLanka. The government continues to plunder and loot in the name of embossed number plates. Take note that Province 1, 2, 3, and 5 have not named the states yet. It will take billions of rupees of the national treasury in order to implement the registrations. Individuals will be paying more in the long run if the states are given new names”
Finally, the DPM said that “the agreement from both sides have to be taken up with the respective foreign ministries and have an understanding of equality and mutual respect. We have to consider as to which direction are we heading to as a Nation, and take steps that are necessary for the benefit of our people”.