The real reasons why British helicopters were not permitted to enter Nepal

A Chinook belong to Royal Air Force.
A Chinook helicopter belonging to the Royal Air Force.

14 May 2015 1:56 PM AEST: Nearly a week since the Government of Nepal angered the public by not allowing three British Army helicopters to cross into its borders, a national broadsheet in Kathmandu has revealed the real reasons behind the controversial decision of the quake-ravaged Himalayan nation.

Annapurna Dainik, a Nepali-language newspaper, has claimed the government took the ‘informal decision’ of not allowing the three Chinook helicopters to enter the Nepali airspace because of the arrest and prosecution of Nepalese Army’s Colonel Kumar Lama as well as for the relationship that existed between a senior British Army officer (now retired) and the Maoist guerrillas while they were still in war with the state.

The 47 year old Colonel was arrested in the UK in 2013 for his alleged involvement in the torture of two Maoist rebels 10 years ago.

Citing ‘a high level government source’, the newspaper made the revelation in an article published today, May 14. The British Embassy in Kathmandu and ‘its donor agencies’ have been putting ‘direct and indirect pressure’ on the Government of Nepal in this regard, it claims.

“Although high-level officials of the embassy have been urging non-governmental organisations and the civil society, to whom they have been providing financial and other assistance, to put pressure on the government but so far that sort of pressure has not been successful,” the newspaper states.

The three helicopters at the centre of the controversy are still parked in New Delhi and continue to wait for the Nepali government’s permission to enter Nepal, a devastated nation badly in need of extra helicopters to transport relief materials and medicine to many hard-hit villages, some of which are located in extremely difficult and challenging terrains.

The British government maintains it sent these helicopters because they are capable of carrying larger freights and are best suited for the high altitude regions.

“It is disappointing they are not yet operational and discussions with the Nepalese authorities are ongoing,” a British government spokesperson told Daily Mail this week.

The Royal Air Force flew the helicopters in a transporter aircraft on April 30. It is understood they were originally planned to be flown straight to Kathmandu for reassembly but the aircraft carrying them was diverted to New Delhi when the Tribhuvan International Airport became clogged with relief flights due to the limited number of runways.

More on the Chinook debacle

5 thoughts on “The real reasons why British helicopters were not permitted to enter Nepal

  1. Swabhimani Kancha

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    It is called pride which you guys seem to know very little of. You detain a Nepalese army officer while in the UK and claim it as a fight for human rights and NOW you want to “help!!”

    In your homeland we know how you are treating the ex-servicemen of the Gurkha Battalion who fought and died for you. Please consider them human first and help them instead before advocating human rights in a far away land called Nepal.

    Today we might be shaken but we still stand strong. I am proud of my Nepalese Government for declining your “help.” We Nepalese might forgive but we never forget.

    Whatever disappointments I have had in recent times over the political situation in my country, this kind of news gives me new hopes that there are still people representing ME in MY Government with the legendary “Nepali Pride” of which you might have only read in books or heard fables of. It gives me hope that still not all is lost.

    Nepal is too happy without your geopolitics. You couldn’t defeat us then, what makes you think you can now? By the way, what about the “human rights” of those Iraqi civilians you helped America drop bombs upon? We now know who actually had WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION and what price the Iraqi people paid for their “freedom.” Who is going to detain tony blair for that?

  2. I hope the people starving in the hills feel the same Nepali pride as you do sitting in Kathmandu, worthless piece of scum. The helicopters were there to help them not you. I am glad that Nepal pride extends to supporting torturers.

  3. Swabhimani Kancha

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    Help them?? How?? By spending half of the money on themselves who give it?? Showing expenses incurred during flights from UK, their volunteers, etc.. If u want to help why dont u donate in our PM fund u? But no,they want to spend it through their own INGO/NGO… How funny is that? advocating neplease people against their own gvernment!!

    Ya ya. The chopper was for the needy.. It is always for the ‘needy’ at first, like the people of Iraq who needed ‘freedom’ fom Saddham… Or quaddafi… Or mubarak…

    Why dont u donate in phases, stay back, keep watch, and stop bitching? U can help but i dont want u inside my home.. Which part of it do u not understand and bitch? U want to enjoy Nepal then come as a tourist and spend some money.. We dont want u to spend half the aid money on urself in this time of ‘crisis’

  4. Swabhimani Kancha

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    The world by now have a picture of who the real torturers are… Ulgy faces but with clean beautful masks on them

    1. Rabi man shrestha

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      Don’t go too far, Stay back, one day your pride will destroy you, do you think you handle pride the way you are bragging ?

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