What Every Nepali needs to know about getting petrol or LP gas from China during the petrol crisis

follow me on twitter @CCNEPal2013


September 14, 2018 Update: An excellent photo essay of Rasuwagadi road landslides by Sam Cowan in Record Nepal. https://www.recordnepal.com/wire/nepal-rasuwagadhi-road-to-china/

Jan 28th  2016 update is at the bottom!

Dec 5th update here is video from Nepali Times. https://youtu.be/x7DEvmIGBqs

Nov 27th update. here is a fine photo essay by Sam Cowan, a retired general from UK. It shows the Rasuwa crossing point.

Update Nov 9th a news article in Republica relayed the news that the Rasuwa road is too narrow for large petrol tankers or gas bullets.

KATHMANDU, Nov 9: Rasuwagadhi is Nepal’s only operational trade point with China. But road to this bordering town is too narrow for big trucks, tankers and bullets. The single-lane road passes through a 15-kilometer stretch which sees recurring landslides throughout the year.

Poor infrastructure in Nepali side is the bottleneck in Nepal-China trade. The Tatopani trade route, which has remained shut since the earthquake of April, is yet to come into operation. – See more at: http://myrepublica.com/feature-article/story/30902/rasuwagadhi-road-too-narrow-for-big-trucks-tankers.html#sthash.xzRFoZbJ.dpuf

Update Oct 31st

From Pahilo Post, the convoy of intrepid petrol tankers on their way to rendezvous with their Chinese counterparts, Oct 30th. go to http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/10/31/1442901/--Wagon-Train-through-the-Himalaya-in-search-of-Chinese-Petrol-Oct-31st-Day-37-of-petrol-blockade

From Pahilo Post, the convoy of intrepid petrol tankers on their way to rendezvous with their Chinese counterparts, Oct 30th. go to http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/10/31/1442901/–Wagon-Train-through-the-Himalaya-in-search-of-Chinese-Petrol-Oct-31st-Day-37-of-petrol-blockade

October 26th update:

This blog entry got 18,000 hits and caused the mainstream Nepal media to change their coverage of China oil. I’ve been blogging almost daily since Aug 24th on a USA blog. Click here to find the list of entries in the USA blog.

Annaupurna. Every Nepali knows that the mountains are there. I was once told that when a Nepali child asks their mother “what’s on the other side?” the answer is “Nothing. those mountains are the end of the world.” on the other side is Tibet.

It’s not going to happen.

गर्जने बादल वर्षदैन!

For a month now, since the Terai Andolan decided to block petrol supplies to Kathmandu, I’ve been reading short news articles or tweets or FaceBook posts saying China had already lined up hundreds of gas bullets or petrol trucks, and they were waiting at the border. Or maybe that NOC was now going to negotiate with China. Or something like that.

Click here for one from The Kathmandu Post, just yesterday. The link was sent to me by a USA expat who said “See! There will be petrol here! Soon!”

Ummmm, no.

Talking about it does not mean that it is now happening. When an actual shipment arrives, there is no doubt in my mind that there will be live coverage on Kathmandu TV, politicians will be on hand, and puja will be offered.

Each of these newspaper reports is a fantasy, and each of these is suggested to a gullible journalist to give the illusion that the end of the petrol crisis is just around the corner. पहिले गरेर देखाउनु अनि भन्नु! China will rescue Nepal!

If you want to read another fiction, a more exciting one than that, click here for a review of my novel in Nepali Bhasa.

Caravans of magic yaks will travel over the pass, bringing LP gas cylinders.

Caravans of magic yaks will travel over the pass, bringing LP gas cylinders.

Here is an English-language word you need to know:


Logistics is the word for how to arrange the delivery of supplies to a distant location so they will get there in time.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines logistics as “the branch of military science relating to procuring, maintaining and transporting material, personnel and facilities.” However, the New Oxford American Dictionary defines logistics as “the detailed coordination of a complex operation involving many people, facilities, or supplies,” and the Oxford Dictionary on-line defines it as “the detailed organization and implementation of a complex operation.”[2] As such, logistics is commonly seen as a branch of engineering that creates “people systems” rather than “machine systems.”

According to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (previously the Council of Logistics Management [3]) logistics is the process of planning, implementing and controlling procedures for the efficient and effective transportation and storage of goods including services and related information from the point of origin to the point of consumption for the purpose of conforming to customer requirements and includes inbound, outbound, internal and external movements.

Usually the people suggesting that China become the new supplier of petrol, have no idea that logistics exists, let alone how it applies.

Geography first

Start with a picture of the road between Kathmandu and Tibet at Kodari:

Taken about a month ago. Kodari, where the where was blocked by landslide since April 24th earthquake. As of last week, the road was reported to be one lane, not blacktopped, and not capable to handle heavy traffic probably for the next two years.

Taken about a month ago. Kodari, where the where was blocked by landslide since April 24th earthquake. As of last week, the road was reported to be one lane, not blacktopped, and not capable to handle heavy traffic probably for the next two years.

Here’s a photo of a section that is not damaged:

CLICK HERE to see a pictorial essay of the Zhangmu Border road.

fromhttp://kekexili.typepad.com/life_on_the_tibetan_plate/2009/03/zhangmu-the-tibetnepal-border.html this shows part of the road. It drops nearly ten thousand vertical feet before it reaches Kathmandu.

from http://kekexili.typepad.com/life_on_the_tibetan_plate/2009/03/zhangmu-the-tibetnepal-border.html this shows part of the road. It drops nearly ten thousand vertical feet before it reaches Kathmandu.

Next, a map of Tibet:

What is on the other side of the mountains? not much. It’s about a hundred miles to Lhasa, on the “Tibetan Plateau” and there are no trees, bushes, or towns. No facilities to get lunch or repair a broken truck.

Click here to see a video of the Tibet side. The map above does not tell the whole story, you need to know about the elevation. It’s steep!

This a very important graphic. The road between Lhasa and Nepal border goes over four mountain passes of 5,500 m each. Higher than Thorung-La pass. These need to be cleared of snow in winter. On the Nepal side, the road gains 4,000 m in elevation,  much more than the road between Narayangadh and Kathmandu. (of course, trucks would ne empty going in that direction...)

This a very important graphic. The road between Lhasa and Nepal border goes over four mountain passes of 5,500 m each. Higher than Thorung-La pass. These need to be cleared of snow in winter. On the Nepal side, the road gains 4,000 m in elevation, much more than the road between Narayangadh and Kathmandu. (of course, trucks would ne empty going in that direction…)

Next, might as well show a map of “dry ports” – entryways to Nepal overland. Not one of the ports to China is open to cargo-carrying vehicles, since the earthquake.

None of the road ports to China are presently open. The one in Tatopani was heavily damaged and may not open for a year.

None of the road ports to China are presently open. The one in Tatopani was heavily damaged and may not open for a year.

Here is a map showing the location of all blacktopped roads. To carry heavy cargo, the blacktop needs to be thick and strong. In the mountains it will create huge potholes if the ground freezes below the pavement.

blacktopped roads. There is not one blacktopped roads between Nepal and China.

blacktopped roads. There is not one blacktopped roads between Nepal and China.

a blacktop road through cold terrain needs a strong foundation, otherwise it will not last long when pounded by heavy cargo.

On a good day, prior to the Terai Andolan,  the road from Terai to Kathmandu was prone to traffic jams.

On a good day, prior to the Terai Andolan, the road from Terai to Kathmandu was prone to traffic jams.

What are the Chinese Newspapers saying?

Here is a report from a Chinese newspaper October 16th:

Nepalese trade entrepreneurs have been placing high hopes from the resumption of this trading point to recover their business loss. However, it might take some more weeks for smooth operation of the port, Chinese officials said.

Cheng Ji, head of the Political and News section at the Chinese Embassy who attended the reopening ceremony, informed Xinhua from the spot “Today’s reopening is only the first step toward trade operation. Since the roads and infrastructures have been heavily damaged, it might take a long period of time for the smooth operation”.

The 14 km road section between the Chinese city Kerung and Nepali custom office is quite narrow and risky. The Chinese Armed Police Force has been working over night to clear and reconstruct the roads that has been severely damaged by the quake.

Cheng Ji said “The situation here is not so good since damage is severe. The Chinese side has difficulties such as lack of permanent structures including water and power supply.”

Since Tatopani, the largest trading point between China and Nepal, has remained closed due to the severe quake damage in Zangmu port and disruption in Araniko highway, traders have viewed Kerung as their second option.

Tsetan Gyalpo, a trader and hotel entrepreneur based in Syaphrubesi at bordering district Rasuwa told Xinhua “We wish to resume our daily life and regular business through border port soon. I am just waiting for the day to see loaded vehicles running on this road as before”.

However, the Chinese disaster prevention and mitigation experts said that the Kerung border port cannot be the alternative of Tatopani, at least for some years.

A visiting Chinese expert and professor from the Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment Chen Xiaoqing who leads an 8 member delegation to Nepal, told Xinhua “The road from Nepal’s bordering district Rasuwa to Kerung is quiet narrow and poor. It cannot resist the heavy loaded vehicles.”

The above does not seem optimistic. Also, I am told that the policy is, Chinese trucks do not enter Nepal and Nepali trucks do not enter China. Every cargo truck is unloaded at the border and re-loaded. In the case of petrol, you need a “tank farm” to accomplish this. They do not have a “tank farm,” and it would take a while to build. Dec 8th update: click here for a description of the number,location, and capacity of existing tank farms. As of Dec 8th, Nepal is asking China to build more.

“tank farm” – what they don’t have at the Nepal-China border. it is very difficult to move fuel without this kind of infrastructure.

What would the cost be? If there were two barrels and one cost twice as much as the other, which would you buy?

Then there is the cost. If Nepal gets their oil via China, that means all the oil to Terai will need to go down the hill from Kathmandu and into Terai. That will be expensive, more expensive than getting it only to Kathmandu. Oil from China will be more expensive than oil from India. What happens when the border to India re-opens? obviously, businesses in Terai will resume getting their oil from India because it will be cheaper. China will need to prevent Nepalis from buying the cheapest oil, in order to protect their investment.

Update Dec 7thclick here for a discussion of the comparative price.  Nepal is on the verge of locking in a higher price. uff!

from https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/iran-china-pipelines/ (go to the link it's excellent!) this shows the present route of oil to China. There would need to be a very long spur to Nepal and South Asia. see the one that loop south through Pakistan? that's the closest, but it also has challenges... The engineering challenge is not to be underestimated.

from https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/iran-china-pipelines/ this shows the present route of oil to China. There would need to be a very long spur to Nepal and South Asia. The engineering challenge is not to be underestimated.

On the map above, find the branch that loops down through Pakistan. That’s closer than building a new spur all the way through Tibet. The source of that map, Deep Resource, gives a fascinating description of the geopolitics of China’s oil, also explained quite well by a contributor in the comments below.

Why would China build all this just to supply Kathmandu?

What will China want from Nepal politically?

Republica published an analysis of this question Oct 22nd. As we all know, Boudha is a vibrant and important neighborhood of Kathmandu due to Tibetan expatriates living there. What if Boudha were to become a bargaining chip? We all know that the Tibetans living in Nepal “belong” here – but then again, do they? The Tibetans are not “Gorkhali” – why would we pre-suppose that the Nepal government would protect them any more than they protect other ethnic minorities such as the Madhesis?
A cover

Without a doubt, the first victims will be the Tibetans living in Nepal. It would not be surprising if for every 100 KL of oil we are asked to hand over a Tibetan living in Nepal, and for every 1000 KL, we are asked to shut down a monastery or have our monasteries turn into highly guarded prisons. We will be forced to go against the international conventions on refugees and human rights that we are signatory to. With international condemnation and probable isolation resulting from blatant violations of established global norms, we will be even more reliant on China and it will use the opportunity to change the name of Mount Everest/Sagarmatha to its Chinese name Qumolungma, an issue the Chinese have been raising on and off for many years.

In the medium and long-term, China with its highways and infrastructure development projects will project us as a likely front against India. Since such projects mean huge investment, logically, it will look for a regime that will secure its interests in Nepal. And it will instill and or support a regime favorable to its interests as it did in Myanmar until recently and which it continues to do in Zimbabwe. Our international isolation will be complete and we will become a pre-2012 Myanmar. – See more at: http://myrepublica.com/opinion/story/29948/the-bangla-solution.html#sthash.DM4qwb4s.dpuf

UPDATE Dec 4th

I found a video about the expat Tibetans in Boudha, it also includes a segment at the Rasuwa border crossing.

Where does China get it’s Oil?

Now, the logistical information above seems to clearly indicate that whatever happens, it won’t happen soon enough to warm houses in Kathmandu this winter. China will not be rescuing Nepal. Also, there is a cost to be weighed – does Nepal want to give up it’s sovereignty to China?

One interesting question remains – where does China get it’s oil? the answer is – from the Baku oilfields in Azerbaijan and in Tajikstan. There is a pipeline running from the west, to China, and it is already built. Below is an excerpt from a fascinating article about the international oil business, titled “Fury of the Audacious Dragon.”

The first part of the article is devoted to how the Chinese competed against the Americans to buy oil resources. Finally it gets to the part that applies to the “Oil Silk Road” –

Half a world away, China turned to its Western neighbors for oil and gas. In 2005, China’s CNPC bought Canadian-based Petrokazakhstan miles above market value beating Russia’s privately owned Lukoil, sending shock-waves to the Eastern part of the world. This time Lukoil never stood a chance. Russia’s influence on its Southern neighbors had waned.

In a region that was influenced by Russia for centuries, Central Asia was not exactly transportation friendly. All pipelines led to Russia, all roads led to Moscow. Realizing the infrastructure shortcoming, China wasted no time to build and finance a 3,000 km oil pipeline – the Kazakhstan China Pipeline (KCP). Operational in 2011, the pipeline joined China’s Xinjiang Province to the Caspian Sea, a new milestone, beating the clock when its competitors were at the gates.

Kazakhstan’s oil reserves of 30 billion m3 is by no means j.v. China’s KCP has become a direct competitor of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium CPC, owned by Gazprom, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Baku-Tbilisi- Ceyhan (BTC), and controlled by BP. The Western world was still oblivious to the presence of the Dragon. Further onslaught was on the cards.

Turkmenistan has natural gas reserves of 17.5 trillion m3, the 4th largest in the world. In Central Asia, the China Gas Pipeline started construction in 2008 with pipelines A an B. In 2011, a delivery capacity of 30 billion m3 was achieved. With the completion of Line C, the 1839 km – A, B and C – triple parallel Pipeline of 55 billion m3 started flowing on 31 May 2014

In 2013, US shale oil and natural gas production shot through the roof. As the end of Middle East oil dependency came naturally and automatically, US could afford to lift its foot off the pedal. Central Asia pipeline diplomacy was knocked off center stage and the much touted and delayed, Turkmenistan-Afganistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline became bogged down in a quagmire. With breakneck speed, China signed inter-Governmental agreements with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan for the 4th gas line or D line, and by September 2014, a deal was in the bag to increase supply to China to 65 billion m3, representing 20% of Chinese 2014 requirements. At the same time, TAPI member States were still haggling over who should do what and when, plunging the whopping $10 billion Asian Development Bank project into further uncertainties.

When the plan to construct a pipeline from Kazahkstan and Turkmenistan to China was first announced at the beginning of the 21st century, it was dubbed the Energy Silk Road. It has since morphed into a giant network of oil and gas flowing all the way to South and East China. read more at http://oilpro.com/post/12038/fury-audacious-dragon

The oil pipeline that runs through Tajikstan and XinChiang province has been named “The New Silk Road” after the route taken by Marco Polo. I runs far to the north of the Nepal border.This maps shows Marco Polo’s route, not the pipeline!

What you read in the papers

So, those announcements that somehow a magic alternative source of petrol or LP gas, are there to give you false hope, and to stall you into thinking that something amazing will happen, just around the corner. Only, this corner will never be turned.

काम साछे आफु लाई, खाना साछे अरुलाई! All the Nationalists who want to get LP gas from China, should go to the Himalaya, and learn how to harness a yak caravan to bring it. After all, the bhote people aren’t “real Nepalis” – are they? can they be trusted to bring LP gas to Kathmandu?

The Sacrament of the Goddess?

If you got this far, you might like to read my books. This blog may be serious but The Sacrament of the Goddess is a fast-paced adventure novel that describes the very real choices people need to make when they are caught up in turmoil.

Written in 2014 to explore the aspects of Nepali culture that go beyond the temples and trinkets. The day-to-day life in Nepal is not easy. You can get this book at Vajra Books on Jyatha in Thamel, or Tibet Books. Or Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Sacrament-Goddess-Joe-Niemczura/dp/1632100029/

Written in 2014 to explore the aspects of Nepali culture that go beyond the temples and trinkets. The day-to-day life in Nepal is not easy. You can get this book at Vajra Books on Jyatha in Thamel, or Tibet Books. Or Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Sacrament-Goddess-Joe-Niemczura/dp/1632100029/

about commenting: This blog is actively moderated. If you use profanity, or attack me personally, or get off topic, or use ALL CAPS, or cut-and-paste something really long so as to teach me about history, I will not approve the comment. Don’t waste my time or yours. I’m probably going to cut off future comments soon.le

One last obstacle….

from http://www.galenfrysinger.com/road_to_nepal.htm and there are lots of other pics there too!  The Arniko Highway gets traffic jams......

from http://www.galenfrysinger.com/road_to_nepal.htm and there are lots of other pics there too! The Arniko Highway gets traffic jams……

NOV 26th update? click here for update.

Jan 28, 2016

from Kantipur, translated by Sam Cowan. I found this on FaceBook page of Prashant Jha.

I am reposting this post from last night but this time, for ease of ‘sharing’, without the link to the kantipur article.

After months of blaming India, now it’s China’s turn?!

The article at the link below appeared in kantipur on Tuesday of this week. Kanak Mani Dixit posted the link on Twitter and Facebook, characterising the article as, “India’s carries out a blockade through selective openings, China is doing the same by closing the Tatopani route.”

This struck me as extraordinary given the well reported extensive earthquake damage in the area of Friendship Bridge, including to the bridge itself, and particularly in Khasa, the transshipment area for all goods being exported from China, where the slope on which the town is built moved 1.5 metres down the hill, making the place uninhabitable and the land unsuitable for future construction. Every person in the area had to be evacuated to new accommodation in Shigatse, 475 kms away.

[3] When India pressures us to use transit points other than Birgunj for trade, we’ve been saying that it’s impractical. When China also closes a transit point that could easily be used for trade and says ‘Rasuwagadhi is open’, that’s like India saying ‘Even though Birgunj is closed, Bhair

I asked a professional translator to paraphrase four key sections of the article to convey its general sense. These are given below and show the characterisation quoted above to be accurate.

[1] In recent days they’ve started to say that there’s a blockade not only by India, but by China as well. When they close the transit point at Tatopani for nine months, it should be understood that they are hindering us, not helping us.

[2] The convenient Tatopani transit point which has been operational for years has been completely shut down for a long time now. One doesn’t see any interest from China in opening up the transit point which was closed following the earthquake. This is a transit point which has been used for commercial trade for nearly four decades.ahawa is open’.

[4] The result of China using the earthquake as a pretext, which gives it a great opportunity to manage its own internal problems, is the closing of Tatopani. Suspicion has increased that the activities of Tibetan refugees have taken deep root in Tatopani, which has expanded as a centre for trade over the last decade. After many homes there were damaged by the earthquake, China resettled all of its citizens who had been living in places connected to Tatopani, including Khasa and Laptang, to the city of Shigatse, nearly 450 km away.

These paraphrases are sufficient to show that while the author makes oblique reference to damage from the earthquake in the Tatopani/Khasa area, the scale of it is understated. The clear suggestion is that China could reopen the crossing point at any time it chooses but has not done so in order to deal with TIbetan refugees allegedly active in the area. The damage to the bridge is dealt with dismissively as being of little consequence. Because of one piece of striking information in it, the paragraph which mentions the bridge damage is given here as a full translation:

“And that’s not all — last week a Chinese official handed over a letter to the head of Customs at Tatopani, Divyaraj Pokharel, asking for permission to demolish the ‘Friendship Bridge’. It was noted in the letter that once the bridge was demolished it would take at least two years to build a new one. What this means is that China is still not ready to send over the merchandise of Nepalis which is in Khasa.”

The last sentence [‘what this means’] hardly follows logically from the previous two but, if true, it is surprising that the key information in the paragraph did not feature as a lead item in all Kathmandu media sites: namely, that the bridge is so severely damaged that it has to be knocked down and replaced by a new one. The span is a long one, much longer than the recently built bridge at Rasuwa Garhi, so the work described would be a major civil engineering challenge though well within the scope of Chinese capabilities.

Just amazing. Ever since autumn, it’s been clear that petrol via China was a fantasy.

There is a PART TWO. Click here to go to part two with more photos and videos.

Pleas note: I laughed out loud when somebody said I was an agent of RAW. funny!

86 thoughts on “What Every Nepali needs to know about getting petrol or LP gas from China during the petrol crisis

  1. Hi Joe. You have done a wonderful job painting the challenges of Nepal’s physical geography vis-a-vis Tibet (China). In this area there is not much for me to add.

    As far as oil is concerned there are only two possible mode of transport, pipeline or rail. Haulage by truck would be like US sending oil to Afghanistan – not viable.

    However geopolitics could play a part in a possible powerplay

    China is a patient dragon. Most of us plan in 5 year spans; China, in spans of 100 years- so goes the stereotype. China’s growth this quarter is 6.9%, a number all countries would die for but in China the number spells gloom and doom. In order to propel itself to dizzying heights again, China, in a bout of inspiration came up with the “Belt and Road”, a possible growth monster. I must qualify that in order to achieve monster status there are a lot of ifs along the way. The “Belt and Road” led to the following
    1. Created an infrastructure bank called AIIB – Founding members have now reached 57. China would have to make sure that there are ample money to fund all Belt and Road infrastructure works
    2. Merging 2 railway manufacturing and construction companies to become the second biggest railway company in the world ( CRRC, the Chinese railway company won a $655 million contract to supply locomotives to the Boston Subway in 2014)
    3. Plan to merge 2 of its 4 oil companies from its pool of CNOOC, SinoPEC, CNPC and Petrochina to compete with Exxon – two of the companies would have the same market cap as Exxon.

    Belt and road means “economic belt from China, through Central Asia to Europe” and Road means Sea Route from China to Europe by sea. Therefore infrastructure is the key to the project.

    A new railway has been built from Qinghai to LLasa, Tibet and a pipeline is planned to supply oil to Tibet from its oilfield in Qaidam, Qinghai. The following are the reasons why the Qinghai – LLasa link is a priority development for China
    1. There are two restive regions in China, The North West Xinjiang region ( The Xinjiang problem is solved by ample oil flowing from Central Asia) and Tibet. Without substantial development, the restive population might resort to violence or even secession.
    2. China has already pumped in huge capital into its vanguard oil, rail, infrastructure and financial companies and unless these companies keep expanding, they will flop as flat as a pancake.

    If China extent the road, railway and pipeline to Nepal, we could say that it is no big deal but we must first look at the economics of the link between Qinghai and Llasa. Did it make economic sense or was it to solve a social problem? If it was to solve a social problem then the extension to Nepal must be purely political because Nepal does not have the demand to justify such an investment.

    The political alignment of the sub-continent is: Pakistan with China and India with Russia. A pipeline extension from Llasa to Nepal to India would make great economic sense as India is the most oil thirsty country next to China. With the present political alignment, it would not be possible, in fact India would probably not even allow a pipeline going from Llasa to Nepal, period – such is the sad reality of politics and India knows that China could not possibly replace them in all facet of life in Nepal; religion, ethnicity, communication, commerce etc. Just imagine that you want to buy an engine for your car and the engine comes from US. It would first go to perhaps Guangzhou, then Szechuan, then 2,000 km of desert through Tibet, go under Mount Everest and finally KTM. Presently it would land in Kolkata, rail to Birgunj and then KMT

    In short, China does not need to think twice in building railways or pipelines because economic considerations in the short term might not be the most important criteria. The question is, does it have the political will.

    At the moment China has a plan to build a railway from Tibet to Nepal traversing beneath Mount Everest. I believe that any ambitions over this would be a bridge too far.

    That leads to the last possibility that India abides to international law as nothing justify closing the border of a landlocked country. There are however many ways to skin a cat if India wants to punish Nepal, one way is to go slow at the border, like inspecting every truck that crosses the border

    To conclude, Nepalese can have their bravado that they do not need India or any other outside influence to their internal affairs but at the end of the day if they don’t make peace with India, their bravado would only equate to suffering; the greater the bravado, the greater the suffering

    Joe, there is a lot to cover. If I miss anything let me know!

  2. Thank you @Joe and @Wilson for painting the picture of Nepalese crisis so beautifully. Thanks for shoving the foot in our mouth saying that whatever you do suckers, you got nothing but to eat Indian s@@t come what may. Thanks for saying that Nepali nationalism is a bravado and eventually it has to give in to India’s hegemonic designs. Why beat around the bush to write all that long article which could have been straightforward in a few lines. All you could have written was, “Hey guys you are all screwed. Just give in to India. There’s no way out.” Instead I just wasted 29 minutes of my time reading technical bulls@@t which tells us that India’s got our a@@.

    • Tara:

      I’m sharing the facts. I’m not asking you to like the situation. The choice of how to frame the response is yours.

      If there is something wrong with the facts are presented, plz give a correction and cite the source of the corrected information.

      There are many aspects of Nepal of which people can be proud. There is more to Nepal than militaristic threats.

      Deciding to change course is not the same as defeat. Think of that.

      • Mr.Joe,
        Why panic the people with your technical information?If you are an expert, why not give the alternatives to explore fuels in Nepal itself and ho well Nepali vision-less leaders start negotiating with their counterpart to resolve the crisis!

    • Please note you’re free to disagree with me or other people who post. This blog is moderated. I don’t like profanity and will edit it out. Attacking me personally does not win the argument. Maintaining a sense of humor is a more effective way to get your point across. I don’t have to “approve” every comment. I can shut off future comments at a time of my choosing. Thanks!

      • Sir. Please try not to lose your temper. Readers have a right to criticize your areticle. Constructive criticism helps a writer, so please do not even think of shutting off future comments at a time of your choosing. Threatenning readers does not suit a writer. I appreciate your good work. I found your article to be very informative.

      • Thanks. Sure, people can criticize. but I don’t allow them to “hijack.” If people want to make a long reply and teach me the history they think I don’t know, they can make their own blog. and the focus is not on the writer in this case, it’s on the topic. Nepali language is “indirect” and very conscious of “honorifics” and politeness. I write in English which is not so tactful and diplomatic. At some point, when the final situation reveals itself (i.e., when they attempt to use Arniko for oil eithers works or does not) it will be time for a new blog, not time to continue belaboring this one. And finally, while constructive criticism may help a writer, it seems to irritate a number of teenage boys who are readers of this blog.

  3. Tara, hmm, maybe you read the post too fast. Having good relations does not equate taking all the shit. The opposite would be to have bad relations. Then would also be interesting. I am curious as to what the situation would be like in 3 months. If there is a REAL blockade from India, surely there will not be any cars on the road by that time – that is, after a blockade of 5 months. Can’t wait to see the outcome. Maybe no sugar and coffee as well?

  4. Hey Joe,
    Excellent Analysis. Sharing links filled with false hopes gives people outside of this zone maybe a sense of respite, and perhaps a break from their feeling of helplessness that stems from their underlying insecurity related to national identity.
    I, however, have lived most of my life in Nepal and have neither been to Raxaul, nor Tatopani. I fly out when I have to. I have been running low on supplies over the past week now, even though I packed my first post apocalyptic survival kit when I was ten years old, figuratively speaking. At thirty, with an enthusiastic 18 months old at home, I constantly need to stock up. And I speak for quite a lot of people in my generation, when I say that trading with China on a large highway is not something we are likely to see in our lifetime.
    I would sooner go out of the country than wait on China for a wild rescue. Most young people would. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. The country sorely needs the good youths it has left. And, we are not fighting India. It is not India, but our shattered sense of nationalism (on having to depend on our big neighbor) that most frightens us, and India’s current foreign policy is clearly not helping.
    Nevertheless, your blog gave me hope. A real one. If that’s the scenario, we will work out a truce. Better sooner than later.
    And on a lighter note, I shall look up that book around town. On my new electric scooter.

  5. Wilson and writer,
    So what do you suggest what will be the best policy of nepal to bow down to india to get its supply.Both of you writing clearly shows the pesimistic side of story to import car from guanzou and 2000 km away it didnt make sense to you as you drink ur coffee in starbucks and just read about us on internet.People from nepal had been doing business with tibet long time back walking for months.Almost 50% of electronic watch clothes shoes are imported from china nepal border so why not petrol gas.I would suggest the writer let the world know what india is doing to Nepal get us support not the opinoin.

    • Hello Kathmandu,
      You should visit to ministry of commerce and suppliers nepal (In khas language “Udhyok tahath apurthi mantralaya”) and understand bilateral trade with different nations and statistics. Nepal is rely heavily on India and every single needs come from India. I never heard 50% of electronic, clothes, and shoes has imported from China through Tibet. If you have information, please do share with us. As I know Nepalese business people whom visit to Guangzhou for trade on clothes, electronics things, and others are cargo by ship from India (Calcutta). Most of Nepalese fellow are living in fantasy rather than identifying root cause and solution.

      Finally, I would like thank you writer to coming up with facts and sharing on a blog.

  6. What would the US do, if it had all its supplies coming from Mexico, and the Mexico with the help of a naturalized Mexican American citizen wants a separate state including California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas with a ulterior motive of separating the Us into two.nations and also wanting to exploit the natural resources of the US? As a short term , and maybe long term strategy would it not see supplies from Canada? You speak a lot man, Walk in our shoes man and then only you will see our reasons.. We are a small but proud nation, and will not put up with any bully…

      • Do you want to say we Nepali already became Indian or we are already in the process of became indian? I understand from your article there is no way without being an Indian Nepali people cannot survive and it is already started?

      • I am describing the facts of geography, not “Indian-ness” or “Nepalipan.”. So no, that was not my focus.

        I’ve travelled in India and Nepal both. I prefer Nepal. For that matter, I spent five months travelling in Terai. Have you?

        Please answer a few questions for me?

        Is Nepali one of the official languages of India?

        Are Sherpas also Nepali? What about Bhote people in general?

        Are Limbuwan, Kirat, Tharu, Chepang, or Magars – are they Nepali?

        Is Boudha in India or Nepal?

        Do you wear a topi every day?

        Is it a Gorkhali topi? Or a Dakka Topi? Palpali Dakka?

        Who’s better – Sharuk Khan or Salman Khan?

        Who *really* got to the summit first – Hilary? Or Norgay?

        What are the three main religions of Nepal?

        And finally, where was Buddha (Siddharta Gautama) born?

        I do know the answer to that one – EVERYONE knows he was born in Terai.

        Please answers these before I can give a yes or no to your original question.


      • Rishi, your alternative is to be a Chinese Nepali. Is it better? Of course it is better because I am of Chinese race. However, what is the reality after weighing all the facts presented to you. Sure China is wooing Nepal and sure China has a “Economic Silk Road” in its plans. Do your math. Look at the logistics vis-a-vis Tibet. Having a railway linking China to Nepal is fine but it is just like the Russian Trans Siberian railway – which helped but not enough to develop Russian Far East. In India you have decades of relationship in commerce, in inter-racial connections (obviously you are not but how many Nepalese are pro Indian-don’t you need to take them into consideration?), you don’t even need a passport to go to India. How about China?

  7. I wish you could have provided some technical definition for Crisis management. I don’t think Nepal is trying to play a China card.

    I don’t think your great grandfather would have imagined someday people will land on moon, it happened Joe, it did.

  8. Unfortunately there is no name to reply to. I was just corrected that you don’t drink coffee so my mistake. Tea would suffice, thanks. I am sure there are goods arriving at Nepal from China. That would increase if what I read is correct that by 2020 (maybe the timeline is a bit optimistic) China has a railway from Lhasa to Kathmandu by tunnel under Mount Everest. If you were to do some math you will find that goods from China is a whole lot cheaper in 19,000 TEU ships via South China Sea and straits of Malacca to Kolkata – then Birgunj. If you expect the Chinese White Knight to show up, you might need to wait a long time, but time will tell, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year passes very fast, it is not long enough for any semblance of emergency supply coming in but maybe enough time for bravado. Bravado like North Koreans chanting death to America never achieve anything, bravado like Iran shouting Death to America and death to Israel never achieve anything but civility by two nations sitting down to talk (maybe over tea) could achieve plenty

    • You are absolutely right! The writer has shown meticulous effort on collecting evidences. But I guess he felt like he knew so much that he should go against the general belief and wanted to make other people look foolish to themselves. While the facts seems to be believable, intention of the article seems to be misleading. It is not analysed from all prospectives. It is difficult but not impossible.

      • Are ypu implying that the Himalaya is not there, after all? Or that or that 700 cargo trucks a day will use a one-lane gravel road in wintertime?

        I’ve provided the source for all my information. I admit I was lying about the yak caravan carrying LP gas.

        Provide better facts and their source.

        Thank ypu for reading.

      • Bipin, you only look foolish if you behave foolishly. This is an open forum. You are judged by everyone. The name I use is my actual name, I hope yours is too. There is no ill will. If the facts are believable than what is the problem. Forget the intention and give us your take based on the facts that you said is believable. We like to hear it. Let Nepal hear it

  9. I think these leaders should stop fooling people around. You can fool some one all the time, all at some time… but you cannot fool all the people all the time. Stopppp this none sense. Solve your in house problem first. Rest will be taken care of automatically. Problem lies in greed for power and ambition to rule and nothing more. If the leaders are willing to negotiate for nation and not for any class or community…….. solution is not far off.

  10. You presented the situation very well …… and its upto people on how they frame it …… we should ne realistic rather than being optimistic in these situation…… I am sure ultranationalists are going to get burned if they know the facts…..

  11. Whatever we say, time has come for Nepal to think in a new dimension and try to be a developed country. It will take 10 years to be developed if we have a LEADER with a VISIONARY DICTATORSHIP. Policy making, implementation and monitoring is the key issues. How much time and money do we need just to manage 3 crore people? Lets hope we get a good leader who transform our country from poor to developed.

      • Firstly, Joe you’ve got a neutral write up here. Thanks for all the efforts and especially the questions to Rishi. Its sad on my part but I do not hesitate to accept the fact that you know more than me. I am an Indian Nepali (Madheshi. I declared myself so as to cut short some of the nationalistic comments that might follow). Situation is well within our reach. Just that the problem needs to be heard. It is nothing that Madheshis want anything from India. It is the so called nationalists that are hoping for a China to be an option to a perceived mirage Indian threat. We are one nation. Madhesh is a part of Nepal. If Martin Luther King could walk the bridge with whites hand in hand with blacks to equalise American citizens, why not the Pahadis, Himalis and Madheshis for inclusive rights? Instead of wasting so much energy and resources in finding alternatives to established relations, we could get into a local understanding. And surely it won’t be a China or an India trying to buy Nepal at the cost of our nationality. Thanks Joe, once again for your geographical bail out. I adore this research and writeup.

  12. Jung, its good to be proud but unfortunately pride does not buy milk power for babies. We feel for you but feeling for you would not buy you milk powder either

    Not only is the terrain challenging in Tibet, politically China’ s hands are tied. If you are the leader of India and if you are really blockading Nepal would you allow China (And that is assuming that China is ready to do that and that is a big if) to build a pipeline to supply oil to Nepal? A few trucks carrying a few drums of oil rolling across 2000 km of semi desert would cost (by rough estimation) 10-15 times what you are paying. Would you pay that? Canada is different, just across the border you have in British Columbia one of the best ports in the world. In my latest post I said that Nepal is rich with a hydro potential of 80,000 MW that is exportable. This is what you should focus on

  13. Hi Joe,

    I am one of the millions hoping that the chinese oil and gas will reach KTM.

    I accept all your facts and will continue to be optimistic. This week is the decider week anyways.

    Because of all your experience in Terai, I wanted to ask what your opinion on this fiasco is.

    I want to believe that the demands are legitimate but then I read something like the article below. Which makes it seem like it is really India’s doing. However unfruitful they might be(hopefully).

    I know I will deal with whatever the situation comes to. But what I really want to do right now is understand the current situation. I am asking your opinion because I see that you have a lot of experience in Terai and I feel like you might give an unbiased opinion.

    Rabindra Mishra (BBC reporter)
    देश गुमाएर जो गुमनाम भए (सबै नेपालीले नपढी नहुने लेख)

    आज मैले सिक्किमबारे सिंगो नेपालले पढ्नै पर्ने दुईवटा लेखहरू पढें। पहिलो, विहान कान्तिपुरमा छापिएको ‘एउटा गुमेको देशको कथा’ थियो। त्यसपछि सांझतिर कान्तिपुरकै प्रधान सम्पादक सुधीर शर्माले झण्डै ६ वर्षअघि लेखेको लेख ‘देश गुमाएर जो गुमनाम भए’ को अंग्रेजी अनुवाद ट्वीट गरिएको रहेछ। पहिले पढीसकेको भएपनि पुन: पुरै पढें।

    आजको नेपालको सन्दर्भमा तलको लेखमा उल्लेखित तथ्यहरूको जानकारी नराखि गरिएको राजनीतिक विश्लेषण अपूरो हुन्छ भन्नेमा म विश्वस्त छु। यो पढेपछि सबैलाई मेरी श्रीमतिका शब्दमा भन्ने हो भने “बर्तमान नेपालको ब्यथा” पढेको अनुभूति हुनेछ। पछिल्लो समयमा धेरै विचार-निर्माता र सर्वसाधारण नेपालीहरूमा त्यो ब्यथाको बोध नबढेको होइन। तर विडम्बना नै भन्नुपर्छ, समस्याको बोधले मात्र मानिसहरूको सोचमा परिवर्तन नआउने रहेछ।

    एकपटक पढेर हेर्नोस् र मन लाग्छ भने श्यर गर्नोस् है।

    (Source: http://www.blog.com.np)
    On the northern corner of West Bengal state of India, there is a hill station – Kalimpong, which once hosted celebrities from all over the world. The hill town, where most of the settlers are of Nepali origin, no longer retains its old charm. But until a few weeks ago the last prime minister of a country – that has lost its independence – used to live here. Kazi Lhendup Dorji, who died on 28 July this year [2007] at the ripe old age of 103, had played a pivotal role in the merger of Sikkim into India.

    (moderator’s note: the remainder of this post was a cut-and-pasted recap of Sikkim. I shortened the history. this comment is now edited.)


    Thank you,

    • Hi –

      Thanks for this query. It may interest you to know that I began blogging on this situation on “DailyKOS.com” about the time of the Kailali murders august 24th. Go to that site and find “Guavaboy” – that’s me. I’ve got more than thirty blogs on this subject. My thinking has evolved.

      I do have opinions, but they are not important. I am a kuire, after all! But I’ll tell you whose opinion I value…..

      C.K. Lal. There is no finer editorialist on this issue today, on the planet.

      Prashant Jha, who’s been vilified but who has actually been to Terai.

      Manjushree Thapa.

      Subina Shrestha of AL Jazeera English.

      Human Rights Watch. Their report was a turning point. Because of their report, it is clear to me that the International Community will stay on the sidelines and say and do nothing. The HRW report sealed the opinions of everyone.

      All the events in the HRW report, or nearly all, can be backed up with homemade video. The Madhesi movement is being driven by the youth, not even the leaders are “in charge” – and the Internet spread of these videos has created solidarity. Because of this factor alone, the situation will not be fixed until a political accommodation is made. From a logistics standpoint, the Nepal Army is not big enough to “conquer” the Terai. They simply do not have enough soldiers.

      Send me a private email? Joeniemczura@gmail.com

      • Hi Joe,

        Thank you for the links. They were somewhat en-lighting. But I must say this C.K. Lal while correct on the fact that there must be negotiations sooner that later. But doesn’t mention the points of the negotiations.

        Because IOC is not allowing tankers to refuel and even border entries that aren’t being blocked by protesters are being blocked hence this is a blockade by another country as well as the protesters. The article is oblivious to this and makes it seem as if there is a confusion about this.

        So, its pretty much an article about Dashain and Chhat.

        Kudos to HRW for doing a great job with the article and thank you for the link. Also happy that using this kind of fatal brute force has almost stopped now. And the death count hasn’t risen. But I hope the blockade doens’t block medicines and raw materials for such are allowed to enter after the Bihar elections.

        I think the army was called only after the Kailali Tharu situation. And the army hasn’t been used for any other kind of intervention. So talking about the army is a moot point.

        My simple understanding of the situation right now is that Madhes parties are asking more than they can ask for(as one does when bargaining i.e mainly claiming to be 50% population which is BS) and the other parties are not responding. I hope they(the other political parties) join the negotiation table seriously and soon.

        Also I am hearing some reports from my friends in Western Terai that some are being forced to protest (Even by the Indian police). While a lot of their demands are legitimate I hope that using force does not become a trend. And I hope they understand that using force just prevents this from going to a referendum.

        Dear Moderator,

        Thank you for editing the post to be simpler. But it seems you left the most important parts. The parts that might(or not) be an analysis of the current situation.

        Please place this part, if at all.

        India openly supported the movement against King (Chogyal) Palden Thondup Namgyal. The then ADC to the King, Captain Sonam Yongda, claimed that soldiers of Indian Army in civil dress used to take part in the protests. Some of the protesters were brought from Darjeeling and the surrounding areas. The number of Sikkimese who took part in the protest was quite small. But that was enough.
        Lhendup’s protest movement depended mainly on Indian financial assistance. The money was made available through Intelligence Bureau (IB). “The people from IB used to visit me twice or thrice a year. An IB agent, Tejpal Sen, used to handover money to me personally”, Dorji had told me in a recorded interview.
        In fact, the main actor behind the ‘Mission Sikkim’ was India’s external intelligence agency, RAW (Research and Analysis Wing). Set up in 1968, RAW was able to disintegrate Pakistan (and form Bangladesh) within three years. The annexation of Sikkim was their other ‘historic’ success. The strategists of RAW didn’t want to repeat a Bhutan in Sikkim. Bhutan managed to acquire the membership of the United Nations in 1968. So, they launched a movement under the leadership of Lhendup, which is described at great length by Ashok Raina in his book Inside RAW: The Story of India’s Secret Service.

        Thank you,

      • Thank you for this.

        As far as the “blockade” – of course it’s a blockade. Now, I know this is very serious, but – the coyness with which the Indian government has left it undeclared? That is brilliant to the point of genius. It has absolutely driven everyone crazy. It lends an elements of theatrical suspense that elevates this beyond a mere blockade, almost into the realm of farce.

        And it seems to me as though the Nepalis of Terai welcomed the help from across the border.

        The Army had been over-reacting since long before the Kailali murders, but nobody in KTM noticed or cared.

        I’m not sure the violence by the Army is over. People have shared all kinds of rumors. How much is wishful thinking, I do not know. I really wish they could find a way to make it a “win-win” and amend the constitution.

  14. Hey Joe ‘s up.
    Man I disagree with you on quite some issues.
    Well I teach Supply Chain Management and a basic principle of managing suppliers by keeping multiple suppliers even if it does not make short term gains. You buy more from the cheap source and less from relatively expensive one. It makes long term economic sense. It might make a achieving economies of scale difficult but surely have a greater social benifit if we do proper benifit cost analysis (not just simple accounting based cost benefit analysis, hope analyst like u know the difference).

    Additionally we have ties with Tibet as well, I mean social ties. However, I believe political ties and social ties are totally different.

    I differ with you so much that I would love to have a healthy debate. You have my email address, do write if u think we can discuss in such interesting matter). Anyways, atleast u wrote about the issue unlike UN and EU who waited for their personal supplies of petroleum to run out.
    Thankx and you have a good one.

  15. Hi Joe, great effort however I believe it’d be better if u could include few more points.
    1. Tatopani border and it’s daily imports before the earthquake (currently 20kms damaged out of 110kms)
    2. Kerung border and it’s import limit.
    3. Distance of Kathmandu – Kerung and Kerung – Sigatse (Train linked)
    4. Nagdhunga – Birgunj road and distance

    If you do the calculation upon all the above data then your analysis should tell that Nepal can easily get at least 50 % of the total demand from China within 3 months and if China shows interest then can supply enough within a year. I believe Nepal shouldn’t just depend upon either of the neighbors but trade with both of them… making sure one cannot impose embargo.

  16. Where there is a will there is always a way. Remember there were cars plying in kathmandu even though just a handful before kathmamdu was connected by roads with the outside world. Desperate times call for desperate solutions. We may not have the most ideal road link to China but it is still motorable and that makes the difference

    • Where there is a will, there is always a way. Then why hasn’t government been able to address the needs of people in Terai, don’t tell the government has no will to do so and just want to ignore this protest. Because this way is too easier and profitable than the way your talking about.. and much more faster..

      • Everyone who lives in Nepal are Nepalese, Why should we discriminate. People keep on discriminating, one day one will suppress other, next day the second will suppress the first but one fine evening what will happen is it will eventually be time that the nation would split up in two..And no one will help then.. why don’t we people understand that. Even if we stop our trade with India ( surely not possible ) , India isn’t losing anything then. Bad relations will also have impact on the people on both countries.. Everyone knows there are thousands of Nepalese studying in India, and many working there. Never heard a single complaint from them that they are treated bad. what we share is a bond that surpasses the economic and diplomatic bond. Let it not be broken. And people understand if anyhow Indian government is to do anything in this matter, then what have the Indians done here, why blame and abuse them.. JAY NEPAL. And if you are mistaken, Joe doesn’t say us to bow to India, all he says is we must be self-dependent and bringing petrol from China isn’t as easy as it seems. If you sense that, he is saying us to bow to India, then I hate to tell you that you have been hating India for long before..
        All I see here is ultranationalist comments.

  17. hi Joe,
    Thank you for writing this blog, not being pessimistic but my head never allowed me to be in this illusion of getting oil from China and your blog gave so much of technical information, and reading the comments made me think even more. Since being from bit different background (Health/Nursing), my mind takes things practically (realistic), Hope after years we have things as we have imagined 🙂

    Thank you

  18. Hi there! Thanks a lot for the in-depth article.
    However, I would prefer to be an optimist in this case. Most of the people from Kathmandu are nowadays buying oil for NPR. 400 -600 per litre (approx USD 4-6 per litre). Even using the route from Lhasa, it wouldn’t cost more than that, would it? Besides it’s only right for Nepal to end the monopoly of Indian trade in Nepal, not only in fuel but in all sorts of goods. Nepal should take this opportunity for increasing economic ties and diversifying supplies via other nations including Bangladesh and China. If there are concerns that China is politically motivated to help Nepal, then we should also ask ourselves if India have been helping without any motives, or any other nation will?

    • Thank you for the courteous dialog. I have received a number of disrespecful comments that attacked me personally or used offensive language – I don’t hit the “approve comment” button for those.

      400 to 600 nrs for a liter, is 4 to 6 USD per liter, or 16 to 24 USD per gallon.

      It seems to me as though, a few years back there was a bandh in KTM when there was an increase in bus fare from 5 to 10 nrs (can’t recall exact amount). The price of fuel drives every cost. Major adjustments in the price of *everything* will be coming.

    • Thank you for asking!

      It was a rhetorical question. I personally believe that Nepal is diverse and holds many groups. All of them – Madhesi, Pahadi, Janajati, Bhote, Tibetan – have a right to call themselves “Nepali.”

      I was asking the previous guy whether he agreed. There are people who seem to think that only the Gorkhali Nepalis are “real Nepalis.” I wanted to know if he was one of them.

  19. May be you are a great guy with lots of intelligence and data etc.

    But my question to you who said madhesi are not Nepali?

    Yeah we hate the discrimination but we love our country.

    I have never heard people say bhote are not Nepali lol…in Nepal even a Punjabi who is fair skinned and can talk Nepali is Nepali…..only dark skinned people with Aryan face are doubted as Nepali ….. And definitely all Mongolians are Nepali…..this is the general mindset….

    If Steve Jobs listened to people like you may be apple wouldn’t have happened…..

    May be Cuba wouldn’t have stood so strong for so long…..

    The only miracle for man kind is dream. Don’t let the dreams die down …. And all the Nay Sayers … If you can’t dream don’t tell others that their dream is impossible….

    So all I want to tell is madheshi people love Nepal. And we also don’t want a foteigner who just married yesterday to our people be allowed to run our country . the constitution is good but people are being lied by leaders.

    All this anger now seen in madheshi youths is about the lack of development in madhesh, its about the un employment in madhesh. And in reality its our own madheshi leaders fault.

    Nepalese people live in harmony and love. Go to rolpa dolpa there also you will find a madheshi cutting a hair of a local there , both smiling and chatting with each other.

    How long did it take for a black man to be president of USA?

    How long did it take for a madheshi to be president here? You will know the answer.

    So all I say is let’s love and lets live and never say someone that they can’t do something. For in dream lies the seed of success. Period..

    God bless you and your intelligence

    • PLEASE PLEASE re-read it carefully!

      I was asking the OTHER GUY if that was what *he* believed.

      Of COURSE the “Madhesi” are Nepali!

      If you look back you will see that I always refer to them as “Nepalis of Terai”

      Some how you got the exact opposite of my intent!

  20. How long did it take for a black man to be president of united States?

    How long did it take for a madheshi to be president of our country?

    You have your answers.

    Let us dream big , plz don’t paint a negative picture. For in dreams lies the seed of success. Eg Steve Jobs..

    Our country is the most accommodating and friendly country. We all Nepalese live in harmony and peace. No one called a janjati or bhote as outsider. In fact in Nepal having a Mongolian face is the proof of being Nepali. So you are wrong in your analysis. Even a Punjabi or kashmiri with a fair skin are treated as Nepali. Only people with dark skin mainly with aryan facecut are treated otherwise.

    I being a madheshi can affirm this country has given everything to me without any discrimination. The only reason for the strikes now is the frustration of youth due to lack of development and unemployment in our madhesh.

  21. Pingback: part two of “What EVery Nepali needs to know about petrol from China” | The Sacrament of the Goddess – a Novel of Nepal

  22. Namaste everyone.

    Firstly, i am ashamed of all Nepalese commenting above, asking for Joe or Wilson to crack the nut, help us with a solution. Nepal has to find her own solution without India, china or anyone else, for that matter. lets stop depending on everyone but self.

    The article is 100 % about what is rather than what should be?

    By the way Joe I loved the pub quiz questions u had above for us. i have a few myself to all but specially to all the Nepalis who are pissed with India at the mo…

    1) Why does Nepal have to import potato chips worth millions from India every year?
    2) From us being 7th largest exporters of rice at one time, this year imported rice worth 10 billion rupees from India? Did India or China make that happen, or us?
    3) what does free trade mean to Nepal? is it, depend on everyone for everything but ourselves?
    4) During this blockade, the only question being asked here is where will our fuel come from. OK F C U k India, we will get it from China? what after that? what? The lesser it gets, more difficult it will be for us to get hold of petroleum. All the war around the world if for energy.
    5) what is the longer term solution hydro energy of petroleum? so where should we spend our 6 Billion USD we spend in India every year buying potato chips, rice, cars, bikes, petrol etc etc.

    There are many questions i ask myself every day. i think we all do? Rather that being angry at India, we need to look at ourselves, and look for solutions within. lets make our alu chips, grow our own rice, buy less petrol and diesel cars. there are plenty of options around, trust me. make our own solar or electric cycles for the city. brew our own beer rather that drinking tuborg and calsberg. why is it that we drink these from Kathmandu to Annapurna base camp? what about other 100’s of local brews of Nepal?. there are millions of things we can do. lets all stop quarreling and start doing stuff.

    we have given the power to India, yes we the common people. we buy everything of them. i am by no means saying ban India and Indian products. but we sure need to think what we spend our money on.


  23. This article really tells the truth… People in Nepal should understand… If this was possible, why would Nepalese government not take the oil from China from the beginning.. False hope isn’t good. And Its not India only that’s causing the blockade ( Well, No one knows whether India is causing or not ), The people in Terai are causing the blockade as well. This is there protest, some are really good ideas, while some are bad, but it must be listened. Let us even suppose that Government somehow manages to bring oil from China, then I don’t think people of Terai would really like that. Ok lets suppose that except protestors, others may like it.. But protestors wont give up their protest, and so eventually Even if Kathmandu gets oil, Terai wont. And I don’t at all think that people in terai would stand that and the government would do such act at all.. It would cause higher tension in southern Nepal and may eventually lead to civil wars ( that’s too far though). The only best possible way to solve this problem is convince the Nepalese in Terai somehow and grant their good wishes.. After all the people who protest are Nepalese as well.. I am a Nepales living in KTM to be honest..

    • you are right. we need a national conversation about citizen rights and responsibilities. just protesting and demanding is not enough. what about citizen safety and good behaviour? China oil is not viable for next 15 years. after that it might be redundant with internal supply sources – water, wind, sun.

      But madhesis need to heard. And so do so many other janjatis. And urban nepalis as well. We too are part of Nepal.

  24. Facts and figure presented by Joe shows the reality and hardship to import the fuel from China. Climate, Infrastructure and geographic conditions are challenging aspects of every logistic system and supply. But, are they never overcome ? I believe these challenges can be overcome but it takes through planning, determined political will and good economic condition.
    Although, writer have detail knowledge about Nepal and its different phenomena; he seemed to be pessimistic for import fuel from China and I feel He suggested to solve problem of Terai to address the crisis of fuel in Nepal.
    Thanks for detail facts and figures. I hope Nepali leader will find out solution to solve this crisis.

  25. i had predicted 15 years of patience for nepalis to get out of the imported oil from india conundrum. i also say in 15 years a vast solar and wind farm can be setup in various regions of Nepal. Not to mention hydro. Patience, hard work and realism is the key. I used to think Joe N was a bot, Sorry, and apologies to Joe. You are doing a great job.

      • To get to that place Nepal has to seriously start developing these things on a large scale – the longer that is put off, the longer the country will be dependent on India (and maybe China) for its energy needs.

        If Nepal lacks the wherewithal to develop its massive hydroelectric potential by itself then ask for the help of South Korea or Japan (rather than India or China). Solar is perhaps easier and quicker to develop ~ but doesn’t provide power at night when the sun doesn’t shine.

        There is probably even the potential for Nepal to be a net exporter of energy – the obvious market being India. Then India might become reliant on Nepal for part of its own energy needs.

  26. Pingback: Polttoainetta tulee, ei tule – Intiasta, Kiinasta | Nepal uudelleen

  27. Pingback: Petrol Tankers Blocked by Snow? The end of fantasy in Nepal-China oil deal Guest Post from SIngapore Petrochemical Expert | The Sacrament of the Goddess – a Novel of Nepal

  28. Pingback: fnvaworld.org | China’s Freight Train to Nepal Is No Threat, But Indian Border Infrastructure Needs Fast Upgrade

  29. Pingback: Record Nepal - India’s border infrastructure needs fast upgrade

  30. Pingback: Record Nepal - India’s border infrastructure needs fast upgrade

you are invited to reply. This blog is actively moderated. Profanity and personal attacks will not be approved. a sense of humor is appreciated.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s