Nepali Protesters Clash with Police Again over US Grant

Nepali protesters have once again clashed with police outside the country’s parliament over plans for new infrastructure projects from the US.

Protesters reportedly tried to break through police barricades outside the parliament building but were pushed back by police with water cannons and rubber bullets.

Nepal is set to receive $500 million (€441 million) in grants from Washington’s anti-poverty project, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) but there is opposition from the Communist parties in the coalition government.

“Although they agreed to present the agreement in the parliament, it’s still not clear whether all coalition partners will cast their vote in favor… Our efforts will continue to convince them,” said Prakash Sharan Mahat, spokesperson for the ruling Nepali Congress party

There were reportedly concerns that the grant would bring US military presence to the region but the US reassured Nepal that it was for development purposes.

The grant also faced severe opposition from Beijing and said that it should have no strings attached.

The debate on the grant is expected to last several days before voting while the deadline to ratify will end on February 28.

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