An individual showing his border pass.
KATHMANDU: Despite assurances by the Chinese authorities of opening the border along the northern part of Nepal’s Gorkha district upon presentation of the border pass and citizenship, the gates are yet to open.
However, residents of the border area in Gorkha, who arrived at the Sirdibas border crossing with the necessary documents issued by the Border Administration Office, were turned away by the Chinese armed police stationed at the border.
Ward Chairman Tashi Dorje Lama said that Chhiring Paljor Lama and Syangbo Lama of Chumanubri-7 were among those denied entry despite possessing the required border pass certificate and citizenship.
Despite the issuance of explicit instructions from Chinese officials to obtain border passes and citizenship for border crossing, authorized bodies such as the Ministry of Home Affairs, District Administration Office Gorkha, and Border Administration Office Sirdibas commenced the distribution of border passes on the 16th of October.
Expressing dismay, Chairman Lama remarked, “We had to constantly follow up with Syang Rural Municipality and the police to expedite the border pass issuance.”
He added, “However, when we attempted to cross with the border with the pass, the security forces informed us that the border crossing was still closed, leaving us bewildered.”
According to him, they (Chinese side) they are toying with the people of Gorkha.
“Upon contacting them, they simply defer with no concrete information,” he added.
Moreover, in Chumanubri 1 Samagaon, the area near Samdo remains inaccessible as the Chinese authorities at the Ruila border have been unresponsive.
“Despite obtaining the border pass, our attempts to communicate with them regarding our imminent arrival went unanswered. We find ourselves stuck between the Nepal and Chinese governments’ lack of cooperation,” asserted Ward Chairman Karma Chhewang Lama.
He emphasized the onset of the snow season as an additional hurdle preventing travel even if the border were to open before Baisakh.
Ward Chairman of Mingyur Dorje Lama, from ward no. 2, voiced frustration, highlighting the arduous process of acquiring the border pass through various government offices without successfully crossing the border.
“We have encountered a continuous cycle of disappointments, facing obstacles from the district administration office and the Home Ministry,” he lamented.
Nima Lama, Chairman of Chumanubri Rural Municipality, expressed repeated attempts to secure assistance but acknowledged the need for a diplomatic initiative from the Chinese Embassy due to the ongoing blockade.
“Despite issuing 384 border passes, the current blockade situation remains unresolved. With the snowy season already underway, we anticipate the reopening of the border only in the next season,” he added.