By Tenzin Monlam
Nepal -Tibet border, near Kirong
DHARAMSHALA, October 17: Exercising additional scrutiny of Tibetan traders at Tibet-Nepal border, Chinese border authorities have stopped Tibetan merchants travelling from Kyirong into Nepal for lengthy document checks, reports Radio Free Asia.
A source working on the border said that the Chinese tourists and traders were allowed to pass through the border without any checking or scrutiny. The source also added that the Chinese guards crossed over into Nepal’s territory to conduct inspections.
“Armed border guards are sent across to inspect Nepali goods when the checkpoint opens at 8:00 a.m.,” a local trader named Tsering Dondrub told RFA.
Tsering further added that Chinese officials in plain clothes also cross into Nepal to closely inspect the cargo and the people.
“Nepali citizens are sometimes paid to spy on the activities of Tibetans traveling on the Nepali side of the border,” he said.
He also pointed out how Tibetan traders, tourists and pilgrims entering Nepal were ‘singled out’ for lengthy checkup causing delays.
The produce and goods coming into Tibet through Nepal (from India or Bhutan) with Tibetan labels are denied entry by the Chinese border officials. However, Chinese goods are allowed into Nepal from Tibet without any restrictions.
Kyirong border crossing became the main border crossing into Nepal after the closure of the crossing at Zhangmu in Nyalam prefecture following the major earthquake in Nepal in 2015.
Earlier, travellers were not allowed to pass through the Kyirong border. However, with Zhangmu closed after the earthquake the Kyirong border was opened for travelling into Nepal. The crossing also opened for foreign travellers on August 28 this year.