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  • » 04/11/2011, 00.00


    Kathmandu ignores European Union, denies rights to Tibetans living in exile

    Kalpit Parajuli

    In a statement, the European parliament calls for free elections among Tibetan refugees. Nepali authorities refuse request in order to uphold economic agreements with China.
    Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – The government of Nepal has turned a deaf ear to the European Union’s request to ensure voting rights of Tibetan refugees in exile. The European parliament on Thursday issued a statement after France called on Nepali authorities to uphold the democratic rights of the Tibetan people to elect a new government-in-exile. However, for Nepal allowing Tibetans to vote and freely demonstrate would be a violation of its economic agreements with China.

    There are some 20,000 Tibetan exiles in Nepal. Most of them escaped their homeland after China’s invasion in 1950 and the Dalai Lama’s flight in 1959.

    At present, police authorities are arresting and torturing refugees to prevent them from voting for the government-in-exile. On 13 February, police stopped Tibetan community elections. Storming polling stations in full gear, they seized ballots and other election material.

    The resolution adopted by the European Parliament says that Tibetans have a right to participate in democratic rights and that this is a “fundamental right of all citizens that must be upheld, protected and guaranteed in every democratic state”.

    The statement notes that the Nepali government, under intense pressure from the Chinese government, has restricted the Tibetan community from taking part in the election to choose the new prime minister of the Tibetan government in exile.

    The European parliament has also called on Nepali authorities to refrain from preventive arrests and restrictions on demonstrations and freedom of speech. It also asked Nepali government to include such rights and to ensure religious freedom in Nepal's new constitution, due to be enacted by 28 May 2011.

    “The government is ready to ensure all kinds of rights and abiding by the international laws except we can't go against 'One-China Policy,” government spokesperson Ganga Lal Tuladhar said. “We are only concerned about anti-China activities and activities against our neighbours that are also against our foreign policy."

    Nepal’s economic and trading ties with China have grown since the fall of the monarchy in 2006 and the rise to power of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal and the Unified Marxist–Leninist Party.

    The new government has reached agreements with China to allow Nepali workers in Tatopani, on the border with Tibet, in exchange for greater controls over Tibetan exiles.

    Recently, china has sent humanitarian aid and military assistance to the Nepali military worth US$ 13 million.

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    See also

    02/03/2009 NEPAL – TIBET – CHINA
    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.

    12/09/2008 NEPAL
    Kathmandu to expel anti-China Tibetan refugees
    Nepal’s Maoist government heeds Chinese demands and publicly announces measures against pro-Tibet protesters. Anyone without a refugee certificate, which the authorities have not released at least since 1995, will come under tight controls and will be expelled from the country.

    22/04/2008 INDIA - TIBET - CHINA
    Tibetan prime minister: China has made Tibet a trap to destroy us
    Samdhong Rinpoche, prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, analyses for AsiaNews the provocations of the Chinese government and the smear campaign against the Dalai Lama, intended to weaken even further the condition of the Tibetan population. An appeal to the international community: Beijing has been ignoring you for 30 years; do something before Tibet is destroyed.

    18/11/2008 TIBET - CHINA - INDIA
    Tibetans are deciding their future
    Starting yesterday and until November 22, the leaders of the Tibetans in exile are discussing their stance toward Beijing. Supporters of dialogue are meeting with those who are in favor of independence. At a Tibetan leader tells AsiaNews what's being discussed, and what's expected.

    05/06/2008 INDIA – TIBET – CHINA
    Dalai Lama leads prayer for Sichuan victims
    Buddhist leader expresses his condolence to the Chinese government for the devastating earthquake. Together with the Tibetan government-in-exile he commemorates all the victims. In Tibet police surrounds monasteries, accusing “separatists” of preparing attacks.

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