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HomeFact CheckFact Check: Britain Annulled Sugauli Treaty? No, Viral Video Is Misleading

Fact Check: Britain Annulled Sugauli Treaty? No, Viral Video Is Misleading

Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

Claim
Britain annulled the Sugauli Treaty (1816) and warned India to return the territory of “Greater Nepal”
Fact
Viral video is exaggerated and shared in the context of Kathmandu Mayor’s decision to install a map of “Greater Nepal” at his office

A viral video claiming that Britain has scrapped the Sugauli Treaty and warned India to return the territory of “Greater Nepal”. Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

The video surfaces at a time when the decision of Kathmandu Metropolitan City Mayor Balendra Shah to install a map of “Greater Nepal” at his office in symbolic counter to the “Akhand Bharat” mural at the new Parliament Building in New Delhi India has generated both commendation and condemnation.

In this context, TikTok user @rubeshyadav3 posted a video scrolling a collage of “Greater Nepal”, images of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kathmandu Metropolitan City’s Mayor Balen Shah. Text superimposed on the video reads, “Britain has scrapped the Sugauli Treaty, much to the chagrin of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and warned India to return the Greater Nepal territory to Nepal.” The archived version of the TikTok Video can be seen here.

The video posted on June 21 has garnered 17.4k likes, 504 users have shared it, and 655 people have commented on it until the last count.

What is Greater Nepal?

Greater Nepal is the territory once controlled by Nepal from Teesta in the East to Sutlej in the West. The said territories fall inside present-day India. Nepal ceded nearly two-thirds of its territories–from from Mechi River to Teesta in the east and Mahakali River to Sutlej in the west–after the Sugaurli Treaty signed in 1816 following Anglo-Neplease war between Nepal and British East India Company. Those campaigning for Greater Nepal are demanding that the land controlled by Nepal before the Sugauli Treaty should be returned to Nepal.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the authenticity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker looked for reports or any decision regarding the British government announcing the annulment of Sugauli Treaty of 1816. However, we didn’t find any authentic or reliable reports confirming that the British government has made such an announcement.

Further, we looked for reports regarding the treaties signed between Nepal, Britain and India and found an article on the 1923 Treaty signed between Nepal and Britain, published on Annapurna Express online in December 2021. Noting that the old treaty signed in 1816 had long lost its relevance, the article reiterated that Nepal and Great Britain signed Treaty of Perpetual Peace and Friendship in 1923 replacing the old Sugauli Treaty. “It was this new treaty (1923) that re-stated Nepal’s sovereignty in the international arena and the UK treated Nepal on an equal footing as a sovereign state,” the article stated. Later, Nepal and India updated the 1923 treaty by signing Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship.

Moreover, none of Nepal’s major and fringe political parties has incorporated the issue of ‘Greater Nepal’ in their political manifesto. According to an article published in Himal South Asia Magazine, the issue of greater Nepal is too far-fetched in the current context as Nepal has never laid claim to the territories relinquished in the Sugauli Treaty. Earlier in 2020, Nepal and India had a cartographic conflict after both the countries claimed Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limipiyhura on the northwestern corner as their own territory. At a time when the settlement of only 335 square kilometres of territory has remained elusive, the returning of the territory lost in the Sugauli Treaty could be beyond imagination.

Conclusion

The viral video claiming that Britain has annulled the Sugauli Treaty (1816) and warned India to return Nepal’s territory that the latter ceded in Anglo-Nepalese war is only exaggeration, and the claim has become irrelevant in the changed historical context.

Result: False

Sources
The Annapurna Express, 25 December, 2021
The Kathmandu Post, 21 May, 2020
Himal South Asia Magazine, 1 March, 1993


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Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

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