Nepal: Stop State brutality against the Tamang Indigenous Peoples and Locals

Stop the construction of Tamakoshi-Kathmandu 220/400 kV Transmission Line Project in Shankharapur-3, Kathmandu

We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, strongly condemn the ongoing repression by Nepal’s police and armed police forces on the indigenous Tamang and other locals in Bojheni village, Shankharapur municipality Ward no. 3 in the northeast of Kathmandu for the construction of Tamakoshi-Kathmandu 200/400 kV Transmission Line and its substation.

Around 500 affected households of Indigenous Tamang and other affected locals of the area have opposed the construction of the substation and the transmission line in Bojheni since 2015. On1stJanuary 2023, when the Nepal Electricity Authorities (NEA) forcefully initiated a survey of the land to install a substation and transmission lines that are financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the community protested. The protests have continued for more than a week. During the protest, at least seven protestors (including women and a minor) have been arrested. Further, the police threatened the protestors at gunpoint and manhandled the Ward Chair, women and other protestors causing injuries to at least a dozen people. The mobilization of armed police in the village has created an atmosphere of fear among the residents.

This substation is planned to be connected to a high voltage transmission line and substation in Ratmate, Nuwakot district, which will be funded under the US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and to another substation in Changu Narayan, Kathmandu. Thus, creating a web of transmission lines in the area, which has been a major concern of the affected communities.

The Indigenous and local communities in Bojheni village of Shankharapur municipality were not informed about the Project and no consultation was held with the communities. The authorities began implementing the project by acquiring communities’ lands through threats and intimidations. The Ward Chair of Shankarapur Municipality-3, Mr Surya Bahadur Tamang,also confirmed that even the local government is not aware of the ongoing survey process of the Project and no permission was taken from the local government in violation of legal provisions of Nepal.

Nepal is a State Party to the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (No. 169) of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The Project is a blatant violation of ILO 169, particularly Articles 13-19 and Article 14 (2) that guarantees the land rights of Indigenous Peoples. Article 14 (2) of the Convention explicitly states, “Governments shall take steps as necessary to identify the lands which the peoples concerned traditionally occupy, and to guarantee effective protection of their rights of ownership and possession.” Further, the Government did not secure the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)of the indigenous Tamangs, which Nepal voted in favour at the UN General Assembly. 

Similarly, the Project is also in violation of the ADB’s Safeguards, which requires ascertaining the consent of affected Indigenous Peoples regarding physical relocation from traditional or customary lands, or development projects within customary lands under use that would impact the livelihoods or cultural, ceremonial, or spiritual uses that define their identity (for the projects that the ADB finances). However, the ongoing protests against the Project clearly indicate that the ADB has not followed its own Safeguards policy.

The Project-affected communities are concerned that the construction of the substation in the middle of their settlement area, with transmission lines running over their houses, lands and religious and cultural sites will significantly affect their livelihoods as well as cause negative effects on the environment, devalue their land, properties and even cause insecurity to their health and lives. Further, they fear that this may eventually result in displacing them from their ancestral lands and settlement.

For more than a week now, the Project-affected communities have been engaged in peaceful protests against the NEA and the Project implementing agency for forcibly conducting the survey works of the transmission line and the substation in Bojheni under the protection of the Nepal Police and Armed Police Force.

Over the years, the Struggle Committee and the Ward office have submitted their demands to concerned local and national authorities, including the NEA, the Ministry of Energy of the Government of Nepal as well as the ADB Nepal Resident Mission to urge them to relocate the Bojheni substation to an alternative location and reroute the Transmission Line. However, their demands have not been effectively addressed, which has led to the current tense situation. 

We, the undersigned organizations, strongly call on the Government of Nepal, particularly the State-owned Nepal Electricity Authority and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to:

  1. halt the forced survey process and immediately withdraw the police and armed police forces from the affected area to avoid any further untoward incident, and create an environment for peaceful dialogue,
  2. arrange for free medical treatment of those injured and release all detainees immediately and any charges against protesters should be dropped to create an environment for peaceful dialogue,
  3. comply with the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of the affected Indigenous Peoples prior to any further process with the Project in the area, and
  4. fully comply with the international legal obligations of the Government of Nepal in the context of the Project and other activities in the area, including the ILO Convention No. 169 and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). 


  1. Struggle Against Marginalization of Nationalities (SAMAN)
  2. Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP)
  3. International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA)
  4. The William Gomes Podcast, UK
  5. Community Empowerment and Social Justice Network (CEMSOJ), Nepal
  6. Youth Federation of Indigenous Nationalities Federal Council (YFIN Nepal), Nepal
  7. Buliisa Initiative for Rural Development Organisation (BIRUDO), Uganda
  8. RMI-Indonesian Institute for Forest and Environment, Indonesia Samata
  9. Oyu Tolgoi Watch, Mongolia
  10. Rivers without Boundaries – Mongolia
  11. Nepal Indigenous Disabled Association (NIDA), Nepal
  12. Latinoamérica Sustentable, Ecuador
  13. Lawyers’ Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP), Nepal
  14. Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Defenders Network in Asia
  15. Witness Radio – Uganda
  16. Muldhaar Creation Media, Nepal
  17. Culture Research Centre, Nepal
  18. Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC), Malaysia
  19. Environmental Defender Law Center, USA
  20. Taiwan Indigenous People’s Long-term Care Service Rights Promotion Association (TICPA), Taiwan
  21. NGO Forum on ADB, Philippines
  22. Cordillera Peoples Alliance, Philippines
  23. Nepal Majhi Than Sang, Nepal
  24. Kapaeeng Foundation, Bangladesh
  25. Jamaa Resource Initiatives, Kenya
  26. Pinto Management Consultancy, South Africa
  27. Haatemalo Collective, Nepal
  28. National Indigenous Women’s Federation-NIWF, Nepal
  29. Federation of Indigenous Kirat Association, Nepal
  30. Centro de Documentación en Derechos Humanos “Segundo Montes Mozo SJ” (CSMM), Ecuador
  31. Acción Ecologica, Ecuador
  32. STAR Kampuchea, Cambodia
  33. Asia Indigenous Women’s Network, Philippines
  34. Bangladesh Indigenous Women’s network, Bangladesh
  35. Community Self Reliance Centre (CSRC), Nepal
  36. Cambodia Indigenous Peoples Organization, Cambodia
  37. Community Resource Centre, Thailand
  38. KRuHA, Indonesia
  39. Centre for Research and Advocacy Manipur, India
  40. Swedwatch, Sweden
  41. Zambia Climate Change Network (ZCCN), Zambia
  42. Rangmatipadar Adivasi Commune, India
  43. urgewald e.V., Germany
  44. Katribu National alliance of IP organizations in the Philippines
  45. International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL)
  46. Not1More, UK
  47. Tokpegola women social welfare committee, Nepal
  48. Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities
  49. Central Member, Nepal Kumal Samaj, Nepal
  50. Indigenous Media Foundation, Nepal
  51. Nepal Kirat Kulung Bhasa Sanskriti Utthan Sangh, Nepal
  52. International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), Switzerland
  53. Occupy Bergen County, United States
  54. Recourse, The Netherlands
  55. Land is Life – Asia
  56. Friends of the Earth US, United States
  57. Indigenous Peoples Rights International
  58. Bergen County Green Party, U.S.
  59. Asia Pacific Network of Environment Defenders (APNED)
  60. Sajha Pahal Nepal
  61. Reality of Aid-Asia Pacific, Reality of Aid-Asia Pacific
  62. Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Bangladesh
  63. Adivasi Women’s Network, India
  64. Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research (PODER)
  65. Karbi Human Rights Watch
  66. The Centre for Sustainable development in Mountainous Areas – CSDM, Vietnam
  67. Nilgiris Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group Federation
  68. Covalma Youth Center (CJC), Timor-Leste
  69. Chhattisgarh Tribal People’s Forum, India
  70. Cambodia Indigenous Peoples Alliance (CIPA), Cambodia
  71. The Asia Indigenous Peoples Network on Extractive Industries and Energy (AIPNEE)
  72. The Indigenous Women Forum of North East India (IWFNEI)
  73. Bangladesh Adivasi Forum
  74. Bangladesh Jatiya Hajong Sangathon
  75. Bangladesh Sramic Federation
  76. Vikas Adhyayan Kendra, India
  77. BCGP, U.S.
  78. Center for International Environmental Law
  79. Xavier Science Foundation, Philippines
  80. PAKISAMA, Philippines
  81. Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia(JOAS), Malaysia
  82. Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR), India
  83. National Indigenous Disabled Women Association -Nepal (NIDWAN)
  84. Socio-cultural Research Center (SCRC), Nepal
  85. Gyandaboo- Nepal


  1. William Nicholas Gomes, Human rights activist and freelance Journalist, UK
  2. Sambigya Khadka, Consortium of Land research and policy dialogue, Nepal
  3. Makiko Kimura, President, Shimin Gaikou Centre, Japan
  4. Sukhgerel Dugersuren, Chair, Oyu Tolgoi Watch, Mongolia
  5. Sukhgerel Dugersuren, Chair, Rivers without Boundaries – Mongolia
  6. Naw Aye Chan Wadi, GKAA, Myanmar
  7. Julie Marion, Denmark
  8. Dawa Sherpa, United States
  9. Min Kumar Moktan Tamang, Executive director, Socio culture research centre, Nepal
  10. Ivan G. Somlai, Director, Ethnobureaucratica, Canada
  11. Krishna Bhattachan, Nepal
  12. Sharmila Shyangtan, Nepal
  13. Anish Blon Lama, IT Engineer, Nepal
  14. K Kimura, Japan
  15. Pukar Mani Rai, Nepal
  16. Janak Rai, Nepal
  17. Rajani Maharjan, Former General Secretary, Newa Dey Daboo, Nepal
  18. Indira Ale, Nepal
  19. Sumitra Manandhar Gurung, Board of Director, Samata Foundation, Nepal
  20. Christina Nilsson
  21. Yasso Kanti Bhattachan, Advisor, Thakali Women Association, Nepal
  22. Windel Bolinget, Chairperson, Cordillera Peoples Alliance, Philippines
  23. Chini Maya Majhi, Vice chairperson, Nepal majhi than sang, Nepal
  24. Hiran Mitra Chakma, Manager, Kapaeeng Foundation, Bangladesh
  25. Anju Tamang, Nepal
  26. Ms Aishia Pinto, Director, Pinto Management Consultancy, South Africa
  27. Tashi Tewa, Co-Founder, Haatemalo Collective, Nepal
  28. Man Bdr. Rai, Nepal
  29. Meena Lama, Administration and Finance Officer, National Indigenous Women’s Federation-NIWF, Nepal
  30. Kabita Bahing, Secretary -Central committee, Federation of Indigenous Kirat Association, Nepal
  31. Prasun, Nepal
  32. Anya Thomas, ZTI Asia Regional Coordinator, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact, Australia
  33. Eleanor P. Dictaan, Coordinator, Asia Indigenous Women’s Network, Philippines
  34. Falguni Tripura, Coordinator, Bangladesh Indigenous Women’s network, Bangladesh
  35. Francisco Huerta, Football Player, USA/Greece
  36. Ida Theilade, Professor, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  37. Nataly Allasi Canales, Postdoc, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  38. Eva Carlsson, Sweden
  39. Tilman Menzel, Germany
  40. Mathilde Roza, Associate professor, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  41. Rajaraman, Founder Member, Rangmatipadar Adivasi Commune, India
  42. Ena Madsen, Denmark
  43. Nora Sausmikat, IFI campaigner, urgewald e.V., Germany
  44. Knud Vilby, Member, IWGIA, Denmark
  45. Beverly L. Longid, National Convener, Katribu National alliance of IP organizations in the Philippines and Global Coordinator, International IPMSDL
  46. Cristina Kotz Cornejo, Professor/Filmmaker, Emerson College, United States
  47. Fran Lambrick, Not1More, UK
  48. Carolin Lessner, Denmark
  49. Lakpa Sherpa, Chair-Person, Tokpegola women social welfare committee, Nepal
  50. Lakpa Sherpa, Vice-Chair, Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities, Nepal
  51. Shruti Maya Kumal, Central Member, Nepal Kumal Samaj, Nepal
  52. Käthe Jepsen, Programmes Assistant, IWGIA, Denmark
  53. Niels Hougaard, Engineer, Denmark
  54. Dan Etter, United States
  55. Birger Poppel, Emeritus, Greenland
  56. SANTOSH RANA MAGAR, advocate, Pluralist Legal Clinic, Nepal
  57. Juan Carlos Mijangos Noh, Director, Centro Comunitario de Canicab, México
  58. Adam Cogan, United Kingdom
  59. Vincent Ploton, Director of treaty body advocacy, International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), Switzerland
  60. Hans S. Lassen, Library assistant, IWGIA, Denmark
  61. Rune Bennike, Assistant Professor, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
  62. Mark Mølgaard, Denmark
  63. Alicia Kay, U.S.
  64. Sally Jane Gellert, Occupy Bergen County, United States
  65. Lucy Hitchcock, United States
  66. Tom Schwarz, Anthropologist, Costa Rica
  67. Patricia Alessandrini, Secretary, Bergen County Green Party, U.S.
  68. Patricia Isabelle Dela Cruz, Research Officer, International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation, Philippines
  69. Ling Houng, Lower Mekong Officer, Samdhana Institute, Myanmar
  70. Anthony, Philippines
  71. Miyo Tanaka, University of Oslo, Norway
  72. Alexandra Tomaselli, Senior Researcher, Eurac Research, Italy
  73. Maurizio Farhan Ferrari, Forest Peoples Programme, United Kingdom
  74. Buddha Tsering Moktan, Nepal
  75. Brex Arevalo, KASA Sustainability, Philippines
  76. Timothy Salomon, National Land Coalition in the Philippines
  77. Tom Bicko Ooko, Africa Coodinator, ALLIED, Kenya
  78. Alexander Tad Smith, United States of America
  80. David Paterson, Paterson Law Office, Canada
  81. Rebecca Jones, United Kingdom
  82. Dayoon Kim, Stockholm Environment Institute, Thailand
  83. Diwas Gharti Magar, Nepal

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