03/11/2009, 00.00
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To please China Nepal deploys police against peaceful protests

by Kalpit Parajuli
Police in anti-riot gear are deployed in great number to monitor potential flash points, including temples where Tibetan Buddhists pray. A woman in exile for the past 40 years talks about the situation.
Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – A massive deployment of Nepali police yesterday prevented demonstrators from commemorating the 50th anniversary of Tibetans’ uprising against Chinese domination on 10 March 1959.

In Kathmandu many Tibetan monks and nuns gathered in temples to pray at dawn.

As soon as some young people began shouting anti-Chinese slogans outside the Buddha Temple police took them into custody and spirited them away in truck on charges of instigating anti-Chinese activities. They were however released soon after.

Nepal’s Maoist government had reassured Beijing that it would prevent demonstrations on that day of the anniversary. A police ring in full anti-riot gear was deployed around China’s embassy in the capital’s Baluwatar district and around its visa office in Hattisar. Traffic in both areas has been restricted since Monday.

At least 14,000 Tibetan refugees live in Nepal. Several rallies were staged last year against Chinese repression in Tibet. Police arrested hundreds of peaceful protesters, causing international criticism.

“I have been in exile since I was 32,” said Gendu Sherpa, a 75-year-old Tibetan woman who yesterday prayed with others. “Perhaps God will tell me that I will die in my native land, when Tibet will be free. . . . Few Tibetans are in Kathmandu now. The others are on their way to Tibet to commemorate the anniversary,” she told AsiaNews.

A day earlier, Monday, more than 140 Tibetans were arrested on the border between Nepal and China, secretly trying to cross it.

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