Kathmandu: Police block election of a Tibetan group in exile
Police raid seizes ballot boxes. Nepalese authorities pursuing "one China" policy and suppress any activity contrary to the interests of Beijing. Tibetan activists argue that the vote intended to renew the leadership of a group involved in social aid.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Nepalese police have raided the elections for the leadership of Chushi Gangdruk, a Tibetan exile group, the decision seems to be the result of pressure from the Chinese government on Kathmandu. The raid took place on 13 February, to coincide with the visit of a U.S. State Department official in the Nepali capital: the diplomat wanted to express "continued support" of the U.S. government to Tibetan refugees in the Himalayan kingdom.

The elections were to vote for the leaders of the Tibetan exile group, the protagonist in the past of anti-Chinese demonstrations. The Chushi Gangdruk also promoted social activities and support for refugees in Nepal. A Tibetan activist states that elections were to choose leaders for their social activities and had no anti-Chinese motives. The security forces - armed for battle, with guns and batons - broke into the polling station seizing ballot boxes that contained the votes.

The police coup of 13th of February, coincided with the visit of a senior U.S. State Department official to Kathmandu. During his meeting with the Nepalese government, the U.S. official reiterated Washington's support for the cause of Tibetan refugees. However, Nepal has repeatedly banned anti-Chinese activities on its territory, under the executive’s "one China" policy. In the past, Nepali police blocked the election of the Tibetan government in exile, sparking protests by activists who accuse the government and police of implementing a violent crackdown on their activities.

After the invasion of Lhasa in 1950 and the exile of the Dalai Lama in India (1959), Nepal has hosted thousands of refugees fleeing from Tibet, enabling them to support the government in exile. With the fall of Nepal's monarchy in 2006 and the rise to power of the Maoist parties (Unified Communist Party of Nepal) and Marxist-Leninist Party (Unified Marxist-Leninist), the country has begun to make a series of economic agreements with Beijing, prohibiting any kind of anti-Chinese demonstration. As early as 2008 on the occasion of the Beijing Olympics, the government restricted protest marches with the use of force.