03/02/2009, 00.00
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Anyone protesting against China in Kathmandu to be arrested

Protests in front Chinese diplomatic offices are banned for an indefinite period to prevent tens of thousands of Tibetan refugees from marking the March 1959 uprising against Chinese rule.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Nepal has banned for an indefinite period all protests around the Chinese Embassy and Visa Office in Kathmandu because of the “sensitivity of the situation.”

According to Navin Ghimire, spokesman for Nepal’s Home Affairs Ministry, anyone found protesting near the two sites will be arrested as a precaution against rallies meant to mark the 50th anniversary of Tibet’s uprising against Chinese rule. The revolt broke out on 10 March 1959 and was crushed in blood.

More than 20,000 Tibetans live in Nepal. Last year Kathmandu saw almost daily protests, including by monks and nuns, against China’s crackdown of protests in March.

Police cracked down violently arresting protesters (pictured), eliciting a strong protest by United Nations officials operating in the capital. The government imposed a similar ban at that time as well.

Recently Nepal’s Maoist-led government has sought closer ties to China than to its other big neighbour, India.

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