06/21/2008, 00.00
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Three Tibetans arrested for pro-Dalai Lama demonstration

by Kalpit Parajuli
The Nepalese government supports the one-China policy, and considers it a crime to demonstrate against repression in Tibet. According to the police, the three activists "broke the law on public safety".

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - On the International Day for Refugees, the Nepalese government arrested three Tibetan activists, who are accused of "fomenting anti-Chinese activities in the country".  According to the charges, the three (who were demonstrating in in favour of the Dalai Lama) are also guilty of violating the "one-China policy" adopted by Kathmandu.

The police have confirmed the arrest of Kelsang Chung, director of the Tibetan Refugee Centre, and Ngawang Sagmo and Tashi Dolma, leaders of the Tibetan Women`s Association.  Speaking to AsiaNews by telephone, Chung says: "We are not doing anything wrong. The government is not allowing us to fight for democratic rights. These are false accusations".

Sarbendra Khanal, head of the local police, explains that the three were arrested on the basis of the law on public safety, and can be held in jail for 90 days even without formal accusation. The International Campaign for Free Tibet has criticised the arrests and asked for the immediate release of the three activists.

Nepal does not allow anti-Chinese protests on its territory, and considers Tibet an inseparable part of China.  According to some estimates, at least 20,000 Tibetans fled to Nepal during the revolts against the Maoist invasion in 1959.

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