Tibetans in Nepal advised not to hold March 10 rallies


KATHMANDU, March 9: Tibetans Refugees residing in Nepal have been advised not to hold March 10 rallies to commemorate the Tibetan National Uprising Day on March 10.

After the Nepali officials turned down the permission, the representative office of Central Tibetan Administration has issued guidance for the Tibetans to avoid organizing gatherings or demonstration of Tibetan National Uprising Day.

According to the circular issued by the Tibetan Refugee Welfare Office from Kathmandu, Nepali officials have not given the permissions required to organize the March 10 event. It has also advised the regional Tibetan population to not organize any form of public gatherings or protest rallies on March 10.

In addition to the advice, the cautionary circular also suggests Tibetans in Nepal to witness the Tibetan National Uprising in their own houses and spend the day with virtuous deeds such as prayers.

Exiled Tibetans have been protesting regularly ever since a deadly riot broke out in the Tibetan capital Lhasa on March 14, 2008 followed by demonstrations in other Tibetan areas of China. Many Tibetans are furious over the crackdown against protesters in Tibet and resent China’s decades-old rule of the Himalayan region.

The Lhasa riot broke out after days of protests centered on the anniversary of the failed 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.

The Nepal government and the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR), Kathmandu in 1989 had hammered an informal arrangement to allow Tibetans to travel through Nepal en route to India, and to facilitate their transit, following the Kathmandu government refusal to give refugee status to Tibetans. However, the protocol was ignored with the increasing frequency.

Several international media reported that these violations of the UNHCR agreement and the international law was bought and paid for by Beijing. The New Yorker reported that in 2009, Beijing promised to promote tourism to Nepal, invest in major Nepalese hydropower projects, and increase its financial assistance by approximately eighteen million dollars annually. In return, Kathmandu pledged to endorse Beijing’s “one-China policy” (which rules that both Taiwan and Tibet are “inalienable parts of Chinese territory”) and to prohibit “anti-Chinese activities” within Nepal.

Activities deemed unacceptable include gathering for prayers on the birthday of the Dalai Lama and displaying the Tibetan flag. Despite the fact that Nepal’s constitution guarantees such rights as freedom of expression and peaceful assembly to all persons, and Nepal’s Supreme Court has ruled that restricting Tibetans’ civil rights is illegal.

For the next thirty years, following the 1959 invasion of Lhasa by the People’s Liberation Army prompted many Tibetans to flee Nepal welcomed Tibetans, and every Tibetan in the country was issued a ‘refugee identity certificate,’ known as an ‘RC’. But Nepal government stopped accepting additional Tibetan refugees in 1989, ceding to pressure from Beijing, and that pressure has been intensifying.

Since 1998, the Nepalese government has refused to issue RCs to Tibetans, including children born in Nepal to refugee parents who’ve been residing in the country for decades.

Every year Nepal Police detain hundreds of Tibetan youth activists demonstrating on the occasion of Tibetan National Uprising Day.