Madhesi activists today held demonstration outside British Embassy here on the bicentennial of the 1816 British-Nepal treaty under which land of Madheshis in Terai region was handed over by the British Government to the King of Nepal. The protesters were holding banners with slogans like “Void the Treaty – Free Our Land”, “Madheshis Want Their Land Back”, “200 Years of Slavery – Now Free Madhesh”.
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Under the British-Nepal treaty of December 8, 1816, the land of Madheshis was handed over by the British Government to the King of Nepal in lieu of paying Rs two lakhs per annum.
The Alliance for Independent Madhesh (AIM) led by C K Raut marked the “day as a black day in the history of Madhesh, when Nepali colonisation and enslavement started.”
The alliance further demanded entry of Madhesh into the Commonwealth of Nations, as it was once ruled by the British and the British officials used to collect taxes and revenues from Madhesh/Terai directly.
AIM subcoordinator Kailash Mahato said the British Government through the treaty handed over the eastern part of Madhesh/Terai, between the Koshi and the Rapti rivers, to the King of Nepal instead of paying Rs two lakhs per year.
While doing so, the British Government put a condition explicitly in the treaty stating “the Rajah of Nipal agrees to refrain from prosecuting any inhabitants of the Terai, after its revertance to his rule, on account of having favoured the cause of the British Government during the war.”
But the condition, Mahato said, was never complied by the Government of Nepal, and the Madheshis became victims of “Nepali colonisation, discrimination, racism and slavery” from the very first days Madhesh was annexed to Nepal by the British Government.
Therefore, the alliance argued that, as the condition infixed in the treaty has never been complied by the Government of Nepal, the treaty should be void by itself and Madhesh should be independent.