China’s shifting stance on the Nepal-China border is causing distress among Himalayan districts in Nepal, particularly impacting the upper part of Taplejung. While grand border events are organized during high-level visits, the subsequent closure of these borders has adverse effects on local residents and traders who rely on cross-border trade with Tibet. The Tiptala border crossing, which was supposed to reopen on September 10, remains closed, prompting concerns from both the public and government representatives.
Residents and traders in Taplejung, especially in Fale, Ghunsa, and Olangchungola, are facing hardships due to the prolonged closure of the Tiptala border crossing. The closure, which has persisted for about four years, is negatively impacting cross-border trade and increasing the cost of essential goods for the affected communities.
Government representatives, including Yogesh Kumar Bhattarai, Urmila Thebe, Leeladevi Bokhim, Tilkumar Menyangwo, and Khagensingh Hangam, have been actively raising the issue in the House of Representatives. The parliamentarians have consistently drawn attention to the matter through parliamentary sessions, written appeals, and discussions with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
To address the border closure issue, discussions are underway between Nepali representatives, including Paktanglung Rural Municipality officials and Tibetan authorities. Representatives are coordinating with Tibetan counterparts to find a resolution and reopen the Tiptala border crossing.
Media teams from Taplejung and Panchthar, along with a security team led by the Chief District Officer of Taplejung, Gomadevi Chemjong, have visited the Tiptala border crossing. These interventions aim to draw attention to the border closure, demand views from the Tibetan side, and facilitate discussions on reopening the closed crossing.
The closure has particularly affected residents of Fale and Ghunsa in Paktanglung Rural Municipality-7 Olangchungola and Yangma, Ward 6 Lelep. Essential materials that were once accessible at lower costs from Riu, Tibet, have become more expensive, impacting the daily lives of the affected population.
A team led by Paktanglung Rural Municipality Chairman Rajan Limbu is actively seeking information on tourism promotion and necessary infrastructure content in the Yangma area. The team’s goal is to interview local residents and gather insights for potential tourism development.
The prolonged closure of the Nepal-China border, especially the Tiptala crossing, is taking a toll on the people of Taplejung. The efforts of government representatives, media teams, and security interventions reflect the urgency to address this issue. Coordinated discussions with Tibetan authorities and local initiatives aim to find a resolution and reopen trade routes, alleviating the economic and social impact on the affected communities. The need for sustained dialogue and swift actions remains crucial to ensure the well-being of the residents and restore cross-border trade relations between Nepal and Tibet.