(TibetanReview.net, Nov18, 2016) – The immigration authorities in Nepal have released 39 of the 41 Tibetans they had caught on Nov 14 on suspicion of having entered the country illegally. The released Tibetans were from Tibet and had valid passports issued by the Chinese government. However it took a negotiation by Human Rights Organization of Nepal (HURON) to win the release.
The remaining two Tibetans were residents of India and the authorities were stated to be verifying their documentary proof of their residential status.
The 41 Tibetans were stopped at Dhangadi, 430 km (270 miles) southwest of Kathmandu while travelling in a bus towards India. Police said none of them had travel document and were therefore held and handed over to the immigration authorities in capital Kathmandu. They were said to be planning to go to India on pilgrimage.
Chinese passports do not permit Tibetans to travel to India for fear that they may attend religious teachings of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who is reviled by Beijing as a separatist even though he only seeks realistic autonomy for his homeland.
Arresting and releasing Tibetans in Nepal is part of a dance we’ve seen for decades; this is nothing new. The chilling new reality is that China now controls the mechanisms of the Nepali government to such an extent that they are emboldened to speak out more forcefully, politically and publicly about their influence in such arrests. There are more scary aspects of this story. HURON, who already has come under scrutiny for its practices in Nepal, may now face more scrutiny and retaliation after implications by Kate Saunders of the ICT that they were somehow in contact during this recent event. Add to that the statements by Ms. Saunders that imply the ICT has “contacts” on the ground in Nepal and a dangerous pot has been stirred for Tibetans living in Nepal. The ICT and the West need to butt-out and stop insinuating themselves into the Tibetan issue in Nepal–Tibetans get hurt otherwise.
Former Contractor, International Campaign for Tibet
“Saviours and Fools”
Confessions of an American “Free Tibet” Activist