There are reports that China has encroached on Lapcha in Namkha Gaonpalika-6 Limi village of Humla district and constructed a building. What is the real situation there?
Limi Lamcha is a place in Namkha village municipality of Humla district. In the place where China has now built houses, the people of Limi have traditionally lived and worked for the grazing of cattle. Later the population of the area decreased, most of the people started moving out and then the livestock also decreased. Six months ago, the Chinese side built about 6-7 strong buildings. After making that, there was a dispute here. When we asked why they built a house on our land, the Chinese started saying that it was our land. There was a little bit of controversy when it came to the fact that not only the place where they built this house but also our border is a little further away. Then people from Namkha village and district administration left. At that time, the assistant CDO said that according to the residents and people’s representatives, this is Nepal’s land. Limi VDC started building the road in 2058 BS. The money at that time was to build our own village. At that time, we made our way here by asking the Chinese.
If China has built a building by encroaching on Nepali land, why is our Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying that China has not encroached on the land?
The government should have asked us when there was a dispute over any land. We don’t know what the previous measurement map was. We have already been living there, paving the way. However, the road that we have built today has been taken away by China and the building has also been constructed. At that time, the Chinese side did not claim it, but now our government has informed us why it has claimed the land. Our Ministry of Foreign Affairs or our government should have made it clear by showing its measurement map along with the local people’s representatives and residents. Since we are already using that place, we say it is ours. Today, our Foreign Minister Pradip Kumar Gyawali has won the election and become a minister. We have also won the election and become a minister. Even today we are the people’s representatives, we should have at least asked. However, the government said it had not crossed the line. CDO here says the government has ordered him not to speak on the matter. When this happened, we became even more skeptical. Will the map be changed after getting these? We have a straightforward thing, we have consumed it and we have built the road, so it is our land. The Chinese first told us that Nepal’s border is from here. Because of that, it was natural for us to make claims. We have demanded an all-party meeting here and an expert team to investigate. The border guards to the south or north are the border guards. But, it is not appropriate to make any decision without asking them even once. So the locals are complaining that our land has been usurped.
What do you do now that our government and the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu have not encroached on the land?
Our government makes such a claim then we have to show the locals what a survey map is. Earlier, the Chinese also accepted that this is Nepali land. The Chinese authorities also allowed us to dig the road saying that it is Nepali land. Now the government has to send a high-level team to investigate the matter. If our government has said that our land has not been encroached upon, there is nothing we can do. We can do nothing but raise our voices in the media.
You have raised your voice after China built the building, but why didn’t you raise your voice when the construction was going on?
It has been six months since China built the buildings. There is not much movement of people in that place. We used to raise our voice when constructing two buildings, so now these things have come out. When we asked why you built a house on our land, the Chinese side replied that it is a guarantee for the animals, it is also good for you. At that time, it was thought that it was okay for a big country to build a building for animals. Then when China is making its claim by constructing bigger buildings, we are raising our voice. That is when the controversy arose. Everyone knows about the Chinese, they go and build five or six houses at a time. Buildings are erected overnight.
What could be the purpose of China building there?
When they first built the house, they said it was for the quarantine of animals. But now they are claiming that the land belongs to them. We do not know what their purpose is or why. Earlier, it was said to be for quarantine of animals, but now that a concrete structure has been built, it is still trying to say that it is its own.
How many other places like China may have encroached on Nepali land?
I don’t know how many other places China has encroached on Nepali land. But, since this Humla district is ours, we only know about it. Seen here is here. On the whole, our big neighbors have been crushed here and maybe elsewhere.
Our government is a big nationalist when it comes to border disputes with India, but why should our government be silent when the people’s representatives there raise the voice that China has encroached on the land?
We have to ask the government why our government is silent about China. However, whether we live on the border or in the hills or in Madhes, we believe that no one can attack our identity, no one can destroy our land. Our government objects to the fact that China has not moved without a study. We have not been able to see what the measurement map is. This is a nationalist government that says no one can destroy an inch of land, but not by issuing a statement in dispute with China. For this reason, the government should make it clear that it is not Nepal’s land. So what the government’s intentions are is a matter of research.