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Sunday, 25 September 2016

One year after india's blockade to Nepal

Posted by Anup Baral September 26, 2016 :
The India-Nepal border was under a blockade that slowed the import of key goods into the landlocked nation down to a trickle. The blockade ended Feb. 5 but the conditions that produced it remain. The restriction barring trade into Nepal was the work of the country's three-party United Democratic Madhesi Front, which is against the newly adopted Nepalese Constitution. Starting in late September, the border shutdown limited the transport of fuel, medicine and other essential goods. The constitution in question — deliberated over for nearly a decade following the Nepalese civil war — mandates carving the former Hindu kingdom into several federal provinces. But the Madhesi ethnic group fears that splitting its Terai lowland homeland, located along the Indian border, will marginalize it relative to the upper-caste groups that have historically dominated Nepalese politics. This is not just a domestic issue: Some in Nepal believe India had a hand in the blockade as well, and not without reason. India is looking to maintain its influence in Nepalese politics through the Madhesi, and Nepal, for its part, has trouble escaping the influence of a country it so heavily depends on for trade.

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