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Nepal arrests 3 pro-Dalai Lama Tibetan leaders

Source: PTI
June 20, 2008 18:13 IST
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Succumbing to Chinese pressure, Nepal has arrested three top pro-Dalai Lama Tibetan leaders along with 700 activists from different parts of Kathmandu.
The police raided the residences of Kelsang Chung, director of the Tibetan Reception Centre, Ngawang Sangmi, president of the Regional Tibetan Women's Association, and Tashi Dolma, vice-president of RTWA, and arrested them on Thursday, superintendent of police Sarvendra Khanal said. The cops also arrested around 700 Tibetan exiles staging anti-China demonstrations in different parts of Kathmandu.
"We will release the ordinary Tibetan demonstrators as usual, but we won't release the three Tibetan leaders," Khanal said. "They will be put in to jail for a longer period on charges of provoking anti-China demonstrations," he added, without specifying the time period.
Nepal backs China's policy on Tibet and has vowed not to allow any anti-China activity on its soil. Since March 10, when dozens of Tibetan demonstrators were killed following a crackdown by the Chinese military in Lhasa, they have been regularly staging protests in front of the Chinese embassy and the United Nations Office in Nepal demanding human rights and freedom in the region.
China has virtually closed its border with Mustang, the north-west border district of Nepal, creating famine in the region, which has a remote terrain. The Chinese have stopped issuing visas to Nepalese to visit Tibet through this route for over amonth, causing acute shortage of food grains, media reports said.
Every year nearly 2,000 Tibetans arrive in Nepal through illegal routes on their way to meet the Dalai Lama, who resides at Dharamshala in India. According to an estimate, there are more than 20,000 Tibetan refugees living in Nepal at present.
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