03/13/2012, 00.00
NEPAL - CHINA
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Nepal ally of Beijing: arbitrary arrests and torture of Tibetans in exile

by Kalpit Parajuli
The refugees of Tibet denounce constant checks by the police. On March 10, 22 were arrested during a demonstration. For activists refugee camps have become prisons.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - "The Nepalese police spy on exiled Tibetans. Just for walking down the street in groups of three or four they can be sent to prison. Those who are arrested suffer torture and violence", Tsering Telsha Dolma, a Tibetan refugee who for years lived in a refugee camp in the Nepalese capital tells AsiaNews. According to the man Beijing's influence on the Nepalese authorities has made life impossible for the more than 20 thousand Tibetans in exile. Despite this fear, on March 10 hundreds of Tibetans remembered the 1959revolt against the Chinese army. To avoid problems with China, Nepalese police arrested 22 protesters on charges of anti-Chinese activities.

Telsha Dolma emphasizes that Beijing and Kathmandu now move in unison and regard the Tibetans as a common threat to their interests. "Every day - he says - Chinese military and police raid the camps to control our activities, accusing us of being supporters of Tibetan activists and journalists. For this reason, we never speak with anyone."

For over 40 years, Nepal has received thousands of Tibetan refugees by promoting their transfer to Dharamsala (India), seat of the Tibetan government in exile and where, the Dalai Lama still resides. After the abolition of the monarchy in 2006 and the rise to power of communist and Maoist formations Nepal has changed course, abandoning the old ally of India and tying for closer relations with China. In exchange for economic assistance Beijing has demanded the closure of borders with Tibet and the repression of any anti Chinese demonstrations.

Tesang Dolma, leader of the Tibetan Youth Congress in Nepal, is a young Tibetan born in a refugee camp. His parents were refugees to Nepal in the 80s. He explains that after the agreements with Beijing, "the police carries out preventive and large scale arrests. The refugee camps are full of officers. The population undergoes constant psychological pressure and lives in constant fear of being arrested." "The Tibetans - he states - are not free to work, go shopping, visit their loved ones in hospital. Any movement that takes them out of the camps is reason for suspicion".

To date, the Kathmandu government denies citizenship to refugees of Tibetan origin, including those born on Nepalese soil, now in the third generation. The rights of refugees are guaranteed by the UN. Through the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the organization has repeatedly denounced the persecution suffered by Tibetans, calling on the government to take action. Tesang Dolma, stresses that undocumented refugees can not do anything. "For us it is impossible to travel and find work in other countries. This is a problem especially for the younger generation who want to study abroad and have a better future than their parents".

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