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Nepal Asserts Sovereignty Through Currency: India Expresses Displeasure

The ripple effect of this decision has reached across the border.
May 5, 2024
Nepal Asserts Sovereignty

In a decisive move signaling sovereignty, Nepal’s Council of Ministers has greenlit the replacement of the country’s existing map on the front of the 100-rupee currency note. This alteration, authorized during Thursday’s Cabinet meeting, sees the Ministry of Finance tasked with updating the denomination with a fresh rendition of Nepal’s map, relegating the prior administrative depiction to history.

However, the ripple effect of this decision has reached across the border, with India’s reaction being one of discontent. Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar minced no words in expressing India’s dissatisfaction, labeling Nepal’s action as unilateral. During an interaction in Bhubaneswar titled ‘Why Bharat Matters’, Jaishankar reiterated India’s stance, emphasizing the importance of ongoing discussions between the two nations regarding boundary matters.

This move by Nepal comes at a critical juncture, coinciding with the backdrop of unresolved boundary discussions between the two neighbors. It echoes Nepal’s assertive stance since the release of its new political and administrative map in 2020 under the leadership of CPN-UML Chairman and then-Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. This map notably included territories like Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura, and Kalapani, areas that Nepal claims have been forcibly occupied by India.

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Despite India’s discontent over Nepal’s unilateral decision, diplomatic channels remain open for discussions on boundary issues. Both countries have reiterated their commitment to resolving disputes through established bilateral mechanisms, underscoring the importance of dialogue in addressing sensitive territorial matters.

Nepal’s currency alteration, therefore, stands not just as a symbolic gesture but as a tangible assertion of its sovereignty, asserting its stance on territorial disputes amidst ongoing diplomatic engagements with its neighbor.

Ditible Staff

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