(TibetanReview.net, Mar05’23) –Establishing a Buddhist college in the country’s Buddhist area of Mustang is anti-China and therefore anti-Nepal even if it is done at the request of the local people and administration through the government of Nepal so long as it is funded by India, according to former prime minister and CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli. He has criticized Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, a fellow-communist leader belonging to another party, and India while coming to the defence of China over the issue, reported the kathmandupost.com Mar 5.
“In order to turn the country into a playground for foreigners, the government is allowing India to open a Buddhist college in Mustang,” the report quoted Oli as saying. “This plan is an attack on the country’s sovereignty.”
At the request of the local Barha Gaun Mukti Chettra Rural Municipality, the government of India is spending over Rs700 million to set up the Buddhist college in what is the restricted territory of Upper Mustang, the report said.
Government officials have said the proposal was forwarded to the government of India at the request of the local Barha Gaun Mukti Chettra Rural Municipality, and no final decision has been taken yet.
The report said the Mustang Sakya Buddha Sangh had taken the initiative to open the college, arranged land for it and then requested the Indian side via the government of Nepal. Sakya is one of the four major schools of the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism.
Oli’s criticism came after Dahal ditched his alliance with the UML and decided to support the Nepali Congress candidate—Ram Chandra Paudel—in the presidential election scheduled for Mar 9.
The post-poll alliance of the two major communist parties of Nepal came to an end on Feb 25 when Dahal formally severed his ties with the UML and joined hands with Nepali Congress and six other parties in support of Congress’s Paudel’s presidential bid.
Oli has already pulled his party out of Dahal’s Cabinet and withdrawn support to the government.
He is now busy attacking Dahal and India while trying to defend China, the report said.
Oli has called the establishment of a Buddhist college in the restricted areas of Mustang district a “betrayal” against China. He sees it as a reminder of the Tibetan guerilla organization based in the district after China made a full annexation of Tibet in 1959. The Nepal government had in 1974 peacefully disarmed the Tibetan guerrilla organization and settled its members in various parts of the country.
“Gey Wangdi was the Khampa leader at that time [of the Khampa uprising]. The Khampas were stationed near Marfa village. Now efforts are on to set up a Buddhist college in Lo Manthang, which is part of Upper Mustang where no one lives,” Oli has maintained. “Only a handful of people with vested interests live there. This is a dangerous plan that we should oppose and confront.”