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One China policy: China lauds Nepal’s commitment

Nepal has time and again committed to the “one China” policy but Beijing often times expressed its discontent over Nepal’s commitment after one after another high-level visits from the US…reports Asian Lite News

Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi said on Wednesday that his country highly appreciates Nepal’s longstanding commitment to the “one China” principle and resolute opposition to “Taiwan’s Independence”.

Issuing a statement after US Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan and muscle-flexing between US and the China continues, Beijing wants to see Nepal’s support in its direct confrontation against the US. But, the Nepal government has not made any official position on ongoing face-off between China and the US.

After completing the two-day Taiwan visit, Pelosi left for South Korea on Wednesday evening.

Ambassador Hou said that China and Nepal are good neighbors, trustworthy friends, and reliable partners linked by mountains and rivers. The two countries have always understood and supported each other on issues of core interests concerning respective sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, he said.

Nepal has time and again committed to the “one China” policy but Beijing often times expressed its discontent over Nepal’s commitment after one after another high-level visits from the US, Nepal’s acceptance of US grant under the Millennium Challenge Corporation among others.

Nancy Pelosi (Picture Credits: https://twitter.com/SpeakerPelosi/status/1554496902812602370)

The “one China” policy is also the political foundation of China-Nepal relations, said Hou adding that they believe that the government of Nepal and its people will continue to abide by the principle and understand and support China’s legitimate and justified position and work together with China to defend each other’s sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity.

“The position of the Chinese Government and people on the Taiwan question has been consistent. It is the firm commitment of the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people to resolutely safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is the common aspiration and sacred responsibility of all Chinese sons and daughters to realise the complete reunification of the motherland,” the Ambassador said.

China will definitely take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity in response to the US Speaker’s visit, she said.

ALSO READ: South Korea urges for China-Taiwan peace

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Drop in India-Nepal cross-border marriages worries experts

Experts and analysts from both India and Nepal have underlined the need to not just enhance people to people contact but also putting in place pro-active measures by New Delhi and Kathmandu…reports Mahua Venkatesh

At a time when India and Nepal are looking to deepen political as well as economic cooperation amid rapid geopolitical shifts, the two countries must prioritise dealing with the issue of perception that people from both sides of the border have about each other and more importantly the governments. Despite the two countries sharing an open border policy, mutual distrust has dominated the political landscape from time to time leading to a steady drop in cross border marriages.

Vijay Kant Karna, Executive Chairman, Centre for Social Inclusion and Federalism in Kathmandu said that the declining number of cross border marriages is an indication of a social alteration based on the existing “perception and attitude”.

In 2020, the Nepali parliamentary State Affairs and Good Governance Committee under the Nepalese former prime minister K.P. Sharma Oli, perceived to be close to the Chinese government, approved the proposal to amend the Citizenship Act which made it mandatory for a foreign woman marrying a citizen of the country to wait seven years to get citizenship.

This added to the problem.

“Perception — for both countries — needs to change. The way forward is boosting connectivity but at the same time, the governments of the two neighbours need to carefully carve out a mechanism which will lay the roadmap for cooperation. India and Nepal must maintain stable political relation based on mutual trust and respect,” Karna, Executive Chairman, Centre for Social Inclusion and Federalism in Kathmandu said at an event — ‘India-Nepal Development Partnership: Economic Challenges and Opportunities’ organised by Indian Council of World Affairs.

Experts and analysts from both India and Nepal have underlined the need to not just enhance people to people contact but also putting in place pro-active measures by New Delhi and Kathmandu to address the elephant in the room.

Karna noted that the thrust on railway and road connectivity will go a long way in boosting connectivity, which is critical in the wake of the current geopolitical challenges. The bulk of Nepal’s transit trade takes place through India. As per estimates about 6 to 8 million of Nepalese are employed in India.

Nihar Nayak, Research Fellow, Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses also said that timely competition of all pending projects by the Indians were critical to change the existing perception.

In April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba jointly inaugurated the 35 km long transboundary Janakpur-Jayanagar railway service and RuPay digital payment system in Nepal. Though the two leaders reviewed the full spectrum of the bilateral agenda covering political, economic, trade, energy, security and developmental issues, experts said that hurdles relating to corruption, bureaucratic and security hassles on the ground continue to plague citizens at the border points.

Besides, Indian businesses must also play a more aggressive role in the internal bidding process for infrastructure and other developmental projects.

Earlier, a study by the Observer Foundation Research (ORF) pointed out that though social and economic integration between the two countries, “informal ties and the simplicity of those traditional businesses have been under stress.”

ALSO READ: Nepal, India ink fertiliser deal

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Nepal, India ink fertiliser deal

The agreement states that Nepal will be able to purchase 150,000 tons of crop nutrients 100,000 tons of urea and 50,000 tons of diammonium phosphate (DAP)-from India in the first year….reports Asian Lite News

Nepal has signed a much-awaited commercial agreement with India for the supply of chemical fertilisers for the next five years, officials said on Thursday.

The long term deal signed between Nepal’s Krishi Samagri Company Limited and India’s Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers Limited will allow Nepal to buy about 900,000 tons of chemical fertilisers for the next five years.

In recent years, Nepali farmers have been facing severe shortages of chemical fertilisers during planting season.

The agreement states that Nepal will be able to purchase 150,000 tons of crop nutrients�100,000 tons of urea and 50,000 tons of diammonium phosphate (DAP)-from India in the first year.

In the second year, the country will be able to buy 170,000 tons, in the third year 195,000 tons, and in the fourth and fifth years, 210,000 tons each.

“To minimise the uncertainty and assure the timely supply of fertilizers to the farmers of Nepal for the next 5 years, an agreement has been signed between Nepal and India,” Nepal’s ambassador to New Delhi Dr Shankar Prasad Sharma said on Twitter on Thursday.

The agreement follows a government-to-government deal, which was signed in February this year.

Rajendra Bahadur Karki, general manager of Krishi Samagri Company, said that the Indian side will deliver fertilisers at various border areas including Birgunj, Biratnagar and Bhairahawa.

The general manager said that Nepal will start the procurement to avail fertilizers for the wheat plantation season.

“The Indian company will begin supplying fertilizers 30 days after getting the supply order from us,” he said.

Ram Prasad Subedi, deputy chief of mission at the Nepal Embassy in New Delhi, said that the commercial agreement for the supply of chemical fertilizers to Nepal is welcome news for Nepali farmers.

“The negotiation took place for a couple of months between the two sides to finalize the commercial agreement on the purchase of chemical fertilizers. We also sincerely thank the Indian government for its warm cooperation to finalise this much-awaited deal,” he told India Narrative over phone.

Earlier in June, a Nepali delegation led by then Agriculture Minister Mahendra Yadav visited New Delhi to finalise the commercial agreement for the supply of chemical fertilizers, targeting the paddy transplantation season which begins in mid-June. However, the two sides had failed to sign commercial agreements on time owing to legal constraints.

(The content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com)

ALSO READ: Nepal crackdown on call centers owned by Chinese

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Nepal crackdown on call centers owned by Chinese

On Monday, the police conducted raids in two call centres occupied by Chinese nationals whose owner was an Indian national too….reports Asian Lite News

Nepal Police has continued its raids against illegal call centres owned by Chinese nationals.

On Wednesday night, a raid was conducted at a call centre in Kathmandu’s Thamel area following which four Chinese nationals were arrested.

The raid in Thamel, a popular tourist area, was the fourth to be carried out within a week.

On Monday, the police conducted raids in two call centres occupied by Chinese nationals whose owner was an Indian national too.

On Sunday, on a similar kind of raid was carried out in Butwal near Nepal-India border, leading to the arrest of Chinese and Indian nationals.

Police also seized 26 laptops, 472 mobile phones, recharge cards worth Rs 190,000, 20 SIM cards, and other equipment from the Chinese nationals.

The Chinese nationals were operating a call centre in Kathmandu and illegally providing loans to Indian citizens at high-interest rates.

According to the police, thousands of Indian citizens including Nepalis have been cheated by this call centre.

The police informed that the gang had been running a fraud business for months sending messages through social media saying that they have won a lottery, hacking other people’s social networks including Facebook, and asking for a certain amount of money to collect lottery tickets and goods.

The police are now investigating using the details they got from the laptop, desktop, CPU, mobile, pen drive, various hard disks, iPads.

After the arrest, Indian citizen Niranjan Kumar stated that their head office is in China and they also have call centres in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan.

The Nepal Police, on December 23, 2019, arrested 122 Chinese nationals from all over the Kathmandu Valley.

The operation, the largest one against any foreign nationals in Nepal’s history, apparently continues and at least 800 more Chinese nationals are being watched currently.

ALSO READ: Stateless children to benefit from Nepal’s amended citizenship act

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Stateless children to benefit from Nepal’s amended citizenship act


The progress on the bill is significant as it comes ahead of Nepal’s general election that is due later this year…writes Santosh Ghimire

Nepal’s parliament has passed a bill to amend the Citizenship Act, 2006, paving the way for thousands of children of parents who were citizens by birth to acquire citizenship by descent.

The House of Representatives, the lower house of Nepali parliament, endorsed the much-debated bill on Friday through a majority vote despite reservations from the main opposition Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist). The bill will go into implementation once it is approved by the National Assembly, the upper house, according to authorities.

The progress on the bill is significant as it comes ahead of Nepal’s general election that is due later this year.

All eligible Nepali citizens born before September 20, 2015, the day when the Constitution of Nepal was promulgated, were granted naturalised citizenship. However, their children were not getting citizenship due to lack of a law as the constitution stated that the provision to grant them citizenship would be directed by a federal law. The country has yet to formulate the federal law even seven years after the promulgation of the national constitution.

According to Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs, 190,000 individuals had acquired naturalised citizenship by birth.

Nepal



What are major changes in the new amendment?


Once the amendment bill is approved by the upper house, one born to a Nepali woman in Nepal and whose father is unidentified would get citizenship by descent, according to the text of the bill which is now public. However, the applicant’s mother needs to make a mandatory self-declaration that the father is not recognised. The mother will be liable for action if it is found that her claim that the father of her issue is not identified turns out to be wrong.

As per the new bill, foreign men married to Nepali women must have resided for 15 years continuously in Nepal, renounced the citizenship of their country of origin, and be able to speak Nepali language to qualify for naturalisation.

The bill has also paved the way for non-resident Nepali nationals to acquire citizenship. According to the text of the bill, the non-resident Nepali nationals, however, will not be eligible to enjoy the political and administrative rights. It is estimated that over 5 million Nepali nationals are living in different parts of the world including neighbouring India.

The latest development on citizenship is also a big relief for thousands of people in Nepal who had been rendered stateless due to non-enactment of the new citizenship law.

Years of debate over citizenship resolved now there had been debate in Nepal’s parliament for years on whether to grant naturalised citizenship to foreign women married to Nepali men once they start the process to relinquish the citizenship of the country of their origin.



Last time in June 2020, the parliamentary State Affairs and Good Governance Committee held discussions on the issue. However, parliamentarians of then ruling Nepal Communist Party and then opposition Nepali Congress were sharply divided particularly with a provision that foreign women married to Nepali men would have to wait for seven years for naturalisation.

The lawmakers of the Nepali Congress along with two Terai-based parties-Rashtriya Janata Party and Samajbadi Party, were in favour of retaining the provision of granting citizenship once the woman started the process to renounce citizenship of her country of origin.

However, the then ruling Nepal Communist Party did not agree on the opposition parties’ stance, citing the example of India where it takes seven years to grant citizenship to foreign women married to Indian men. The ruling party argued that Nepal too should have a similar provision. As parliamentarians failed to forge consensus on this particular provision, the bill was endorsed through a majority from the parliamentary committee only, not forwarding the bill to the House of Representatives.

Last July, the present Nepali Congress government led by Sher Bahadur Deuba withdrew the citizenship bill from the House and registered a new one retaining the provision to grant citizenship to foreign women married to Nepali men once she starts the process to give up citizenship of her country.

(The content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com)

ALSO READ: Nepal looks at tourism revival

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India-aided community development project launched in Nepal

India and Nepal enjoy multi-faceted and multi-sectoral development partnership that is reflective of the closeness of the people of both countries.…reports Asian Lite News

A new academic building for an educational institution is the latest India-funded community development project to be completed in Nepal.

The new building of the Sindhuli Community Technical Institute,
located in Kamalamai Municipality-6, Sindhuli District, was inaugurated by Karasang Lama, Chief, DCC Sindhuli, and Prashant Kumar Sona, Second Secretary, Embassy of India, Kathmandu, on Tuesday.

According to the Indian Embassy in Nepal, the project was carried out as a community development project at a cost of Rs. 44.18 million with grant funding from the Government of India’s Development Cooperation in Education Sector.

This is one of the 75 projects being inaugurated this year in Nepal as part of the “India@75 Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” celebration of India’s 75th anniversary of independence.

Since 2003, India has taken up over 527 High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs) in Nepal and has completed 470 projects in the areas of health, education, drinking water, connectivity, sanitation and creation of other public utilities across all seven provinces of Nepal at the grassroots level.

Out of this, 103 HICDPs are in Bagmati Province, including four projects in Sindhuli District.



The Sindhuli Community Technical Institute was founded in 2014. It is a product of the collaborative effort between DCC and Sindhuli’s Kamalamai Municipality and the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training.

It has been offering agricultural (animal science) and civil engineering diploma programmes. With the support of Kathmandu University, it also offers bachelor’s degrees in information technology and civil engineering. Over 292 students attend the institute, with roughly 30% of them being female.

With the help of the Indian government, new infrastructure was built for the institute in Nepal, giving students the opportunity to pursue higher education.

The completion of this institute project demonstrates the continuous assistance provided by the Government of India in assisting the Government of Nepal’s efforts to build infrastructure in important areas like education.

India and Nepal enjoy multi-faceted and multi-sectoral development partnership that is reflective of the closeness of the people of both countries.

“The implementation of this Institute project reflects the continued support of the Government of India in complementing the efforts of the Government of Nepal to create infrastructure in priority sectors like education,” the Indian Embassy said.

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Deuba’s party going in for poll pact with coalition partners

The Nepali Congress party is now pushing for holding general and provincial elections at the earliest, being encouraged by the results of the local level election…writes Santosh Ghimire

The Nepali Congress (NC), which is the main ruling party of Nepal, has decided to forge an electoral alliance with its four coalition partners for the upcoming general and provincial elections which are likely to be held in November this year.

A week-long crucial meeting of the NC’s central committee, which ended on Monday, took a decision to this effect, according to party spokesperson Prakash Sharan Mahat.

“Our party has formally decided to forge electoral alliance with coalition partners for the upcoming general and provincial elections. Now, the party leadership will start holding dialogue with the key leaders of the ruling coalition partners,” he said.

The proposal of the Nepali Congress Party to forge the electoral alliance among the coalition partners in the upcoming elections stems from fears that the CPN (Maois t Centre), a key partner in the government, could join hands with the main opposition Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) led by KP Sharma Oli in the upcoming elections, according to observers.

Deuba


Issuing a press statement on Monday evening, the Nepali Congress party vowed to steer the country towards the path of development, defend the constitution and further strengthen democracy if got the chance to lead a stable government yet again.

In local level elections held in May this year, the Nepali Congress had forged electoral alliance with the coalition partners in the present government, which catapulted the party into the first position.

Thus, the Nepali Congress party is now pushing for holding general and provincial elections at the earliest, being encouraged by the results of the local level elections, party leaders said. “We want to achieve a clear majority in the House of Representatives through the upcoming elections like what we did in the last local body polls,” NC spokesperson Mahat said.

Although the party’s Central Working Committee — in which the party president commands strong majority — made a firm decision to forge electoral alliance with the coalition partners on Monday, there were strong voices within the Nepali Congress that it should contest the elections single-handedly.

Those who were opposing the idea of forging alliance believed that the party’s base in the election constituencies will eventually erode in the long-run due to such coalition arrangements. Senior leader Shekhar Koirala was one of them who were against having any electoral partnership with other parties.

At a recent press conference, Koirala said that NC should fight the elections alone so that it can show its strength. The NC’s decision comes at a time when some second-tier leaders of the two key communist parties — the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) — held negotiations to explore the possibility of a new alliance in the upcoming elections.

According to a cabinet minister, the government is preparing to announce dates for the upcoming elections by the end of July.

Earlier in the first week of July, Nepal’s Election Commission had recommended the government to hold provincial and parliamentary elections on November 18 in a single phase. From the upcoming federal elections, 165 members will be elected to the House of Representatives, the lower house of federal parliament, under the First Past the Post electoral system and 110 will be elected under the proportional representation system.

Likewise, for seven provincial assemblies, 330 members will be elected under the direct system and 220 will be elected under the proportional system.

As per the constitution, Nepal holds local, provincial and federal elections every five years. This will be the second time the Himalayan nation holds federal and provincial elections after it adopted its first democratic republic constitution back in September 2015. The country’s national charter, also the first post-war full-fledged constitution, had federated the country into seven provinces and 753 local units.

(The content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com)

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Prachanda concludes India visit

Prachanda was expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi but this did not happen….reports Asian Lite News

Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Centre Chairman and former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda, who returned home on Sunday after a three-day India visit, said that his trip was largely successful and fruitful than what he had thought.

Prachanda had visited India at the invitation of BJP President J.P. Nadda.

“Before leaving for New Delhi, I made it clear that I will keep national interest at core while talking with Indian leaders which I did. I am happy and my India visit has become more successful and fruitful than what I had thought,” he said at Tribhuvan International Airport here on his return.

In Delhi, Prachanda held talks with BJP President Nadda, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra, among others. Before returning to Kathmandu, he also visited the BJP headquarters and discussed the building of party-to-party relations between the BJP and his CPN-Maoist Centre.

“I am happy with the hospitality and security given to me in New Delhi,” he said, adding that on the day he reached New Delhi, he discussed many things over dinner with the Indian Foreign Secretary.

Prachanda was expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi but this did not happen.

“I was told I would meet Modiji but I don’t know why it didn’t happen,” he said.

“I was told that I would be meeting Modiji by 1 p.m. and then was told that the meeting was not possible today.

“I don’t know the reason why the meeting was cancelled. I am not aware about the reason,” he said.

“Modiji could be busy in domestic things because yesterday, India was hit by floods and landslides,” he said.

“I went to New Delhi at the invitation of J.P. Nadda. I met several leaders and put my agenda and position. There was no meaning in only taking a photo with Modiji. I am not in tension for not meeting Modiji. It would have been good if I had been able to meet Modiji but that couldn’t happen… whatever I needed to communicate, I communicated though the Indian ministers and officials,” Prachanda said.

“I didn’t feel any difference between my visit as Prime Minister and now,” he added.

ALSO READ: US says China’s misinformation campaign over Nepal failed

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India will remain Nepal’s steadfast partner: Jaishankar

India will remain a steadfast partner of Nepal, said External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Friday as he welcomed former Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is on a three-day visit to India.

“Pleased to welcome @cmprachanda to India on his visit at the invitation of BJP President @JPNadda ji. A productive discussion on strengthening our neighbourly relationship with a focus on economic cooperation,” Jaishankar tweeted.

“Reflecting our Neighbourhood First policy, India will remain a steadfast partner of Nepal in its quest for progress and prosperity,” he said in another tweet.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president JP Nadda will hold a meeting with former Nepali Prime Minister Dahal in the national capital on Sunday under the ‘Know BJP’ campaign.

The meeting will take place at the party headquarters in the national capital on Saturday in which many senior leaders of the party will also be present.

Notably, the former Nepali PM is on a three-day visit to India.

BJP’s foreign affairs department in charge Vijay Chauthaiwale said it is an “important” meeting. “This meeting is important and will be under the ‘Know BJP’ campaign. This is for the first time that the BJP has given an invitation to Nepali Communist Party.”

According to the sources, Prachanda will also meet National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

The “Know BJP” campaign was started on the party’s 42nd Foundation Day on April 6, 2022. Its second phase was held on 16 May 2022 while the third meeting was held on June 4 2022.

“Know BJP” campaign is the BJP’s initiative to introduce the party’s vision, mission and work culture to different countries of the world. Under this program, Nadda has so far interacted with Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, Minister for Foreign Relations of Singapore Vivian Balakrishnan and also envoys of 47 countries.

Nadda has so far held talks with diplomats/heads of missions of 47 countries including the European Union.

Earlier last month, Nadda had met the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Van Nen at the BJP Head Office in the national capital.

On June 11, Nadda met the envoys of 13 foreign countries and said that is a need for better communication between the political systems and political parties of different countries to understand the vision of each other.

Earlier, Nadda interacted with “Head of Missions” from 13 countries at the party’s central office in the fourth phase of the “Know BJP” campaign. Addressing the visiting diplomats, Nadda said, “It is our belief that there should be better communication between the political system and political parties of different countries so that we can understand the vision of each other.”

The BJP firmly believes in a healthy democracy and shared cultural ties, he said. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Deuba stems tide of instability

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Dalai Lama visits Leh after 4 years

Chewwang also said that an invitation to visit Ladakh was sent to the Dalai Lama last year, but he could not consider it at that time…reports Asian Lite News

After making an overnight halt at Jammu, Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama arrived in Leh on Friday where he was accorded a rousing reception, as scores of people queued up on either side of the road to welcome him from the airport to his Choglamsar residence.

“It took two hours to cover a distance of less than 10 km from the airport to Chlogalmsar,” senior political leader and two-time Parliamentarian Thupstan Chhewang told.

Decorated with banners, the streets and market places of Leh wore a celebratory look.

The Dalai Lama is visiting Ladakh after a gap of four years. He will be will be staying in the UT till the mid of August.

“People of Ladakh are fortunate that he is visiting us. Earlier he used to visit Ladakh frequently. But he didn’t come lately due to the pandemic,” Chhewang said, adding, “He is aware of the love and devotion people of Ladakh hold for him, so whenever we request him, he comes to Ladakh.”

Chhewang said the Dalai Lama became emotional on seeing the immense devotion of the people of Ladakh and announced that he will give teachings to his followers during this trip.

“We expect that towards the end of his stay, he will deliver teachings to his followers for at least two days,” Chewwang said.

Chewwang also said that an invitation to visit Ladakh was sent to the Dalai Lama last year, but he could not consider it at that time.

He said it is the Dalai Lama’s first visit outside of Dharamsala since the outbreak of Covid.

“After the outbreak of Covid, he had stayed in isolation and didn’t go anywhere. It is only since last month or so he has started making public appearances,” Chewwang said.

In Ladakh, the Dalai Lama will stay in isolation for the first one week. His next set of engagements will be decided after that.

ALSO READ-Not seeking separation, but meaningful autonomy: Dalai Lama