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Tibetans in Nepal mark 61st exile democracy day under police glare

(TibetanReview.net, Sep04’21) – Following the fall of the communist government and under the new Congress-led coalition in its place, Tibetans in Kathmandu were able to mark their 61st democracy day on Sep 2, but under close police watch to render the event out of public view and prevent protests, reported the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Sep 3.

China is Nepal’s main source of investment and aid and it expects Kathmandu to prevent Tibetans from engaging in what it calls anti-China activities of any kind. This has meant preventing Tibetans even from celebrating the birthday of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader.

Concerned that Tibetans might stage a protest outside the Chinese consulate, Nepal deployed a large number of police personnel to guard the building, Sangpo Lama, program coordinator for the Human Rights Organization of Nepal (HURON), has said.

“One could also see many police officers both in uniform and in plain clothes stationed around the Boudhanath Stupa and other Tibetan settlements,” Lama has said, referring to the landmark Buddhist structure that is the hub of social and commercial life of the Tibetan community in Nepal’s capital.

Around 20 officers were stated to have been deployed, with a police truck on standby, outside the Jawalakhel Tibetan settlement as well.

The day was marked in the settlement’s handicrafts centre with offering of prayers and a reading of the statement for the occasion from the Central Tibetan Administration.

While “It has been hard for Tibetans to do anything freely [in Nepal],” no arrests or disruptions by police of community events occurred, Lama has said.

In the past, Nepal carried out preventive arrest of Tibetan community leaders ahead of such events.

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