03/09/2009, 00.00
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China and Nepal together against demonstrations by Nepal’s Tibetans By Kalpit Parajuli

by Kalpit Parajuli
Samdhong Rinpoche, Tibet’s prime minister-in-exile, says that as a “sovereign and independent nation” Nepal must not submit to directives by “foreign powers.” Nepal’s Maoist government reassures Beijing that it will not tolerate anti-Chinese demonstrations, signalling instead its interest for a “peace and friendship treaty.”
Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Tibetan leaders are calling on Nepal’s Maoist government not to sacrifice freedom of speech on the altar of a treaty with China. The request comes a day after Nepali authorities promised their counterparts in Beijing that they would crack down on any “anti-Chinese activities” in coincidence with the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising which falls tomorrow.

Samdhong Rinpoche, the prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, said that Nepal is a “sovereign and democratic” nation and should act in accordance with its own laws rather than in response to “directives” issued by “foreign powers.”

About 20,000 Tibetan refugees live in the Himalayan nation where, Rinpoche noted, “there have been no problems” for the Tibetan community, and where, he hopes, there will be “none in the future.”

Last week during his Nepal visit Assistant Chinese Foreign Minister Liu Jieyi gave acting Nepali Foreign Secretary Suresh Prasad Pradhan a draft copy of a new “Peace and Friendship Treaty.”

For China the new Friendship Treaty addresses Nepal’s changed political context after it abolished the monarchy.

Many Tibetan leaders in India fear however that the new treaty will be used to crack down on every anti-Chinese protest.

For its part Nepal’s Maoist government reiterated its intention to pursue a “one China” policy, stating that it does not want Nepali territory to be used to protest against its powerful neighbour.

For this purpose it has set up a more tightly controlled “peace zone” around China’s embassy in Kathmandu where all forms of protest are banned.

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