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Nepal bans Dalai Lama birthday celebrations

His Holiness the Dalai Lama. (Photo courtesy: RM)

(TibetanReview.net, Jul06’19) – Nepal officially marked the 84th birthday of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader and the 1989 Nobel Peace prize, by issuing an order on Jul 5 banning its celebrations. Police in Capital Kathmandu were stated to have cited specific instruction from the country’s home ministry to convey the point that anyone found celebrating the day will be arrested and beaten.

The home ministry’s ban issued on the eve of the Dalai Lama’s birthday put paid to preparations for grand celebrations being made in the capital’s Lowa Monastery.

The monastery itself was stated to have been pressured directly by police to cancel the planned celebrations.

The ban notice was intimated to the Tibetans and other Buddhists communities in the country by the Tibetan Refugee Welfare Office in Kathmandu which issued a circular saying the police had given an order to cancel the celebrations.

The ban affected not just Tibetan refugees but also Nepal’s own Buddhist communities of Sherpas, Tamangs, Walungs, as well as residents of Dolpo and Mustang regions.

Nepal concurs with China that celebrating the Dalai Lama’s birthday is anti-China activity and a violation of the ‘one China’ policy. China is Nepal’s biggest investor and aid giver. And it looks to Beijing for billions of dollars of grant to build a railway line between Tibet and Kathmandu as a part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

The Dalai Lama’s birthday was officially celebrated by the Central Tibetan Administration at Dharamsala, India, with the Indian parliament member Mr Kishan Kapoor as chief guest. The Dalai Lama did not take part in the event.

The day before, former officials, including retirees, from the Central Tibetan Administration service made a long-life offering to the Dalai Lama, with many of them coming from abroad.

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