Tight security in Nepal for possible Tibetan protests

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Tight security in Nepal for possible Tibetan protests
Kathmandu, Mar 10: Nepal has beefed up security in sensitive areas in and around the capital to prevent any anti-China protests as Tibetan exiles prepare to mark the 55th anniversary of the failed uprising in Tibet. The move comes in the wake of media reports that some Tibetans in Kathmandu planned to carry out self-immolations to protest against Chinese rule in Tibet.

"We have tightened security to stop any untoward activity by the Tibetan refugees here," said Deputy Superintendent of Police at Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Circle Arjun Chand. "Security personnel have been deployed in highly sensitive areas such as Chinese Embassy, Chinese Visa office," Bouddhanath Stupa and Swyambhu Stupa in Kathmandu, he said.

"We will not allow any activity in our territory that would undermine the interest of any of our neighbours," Nepal Police spokesperson Ganesh K C said. Security personnel have also been put on alert in areas where Tibetan refugees are based including Jawalakhel, Bouddha, Chabahil, Kapan Monastery, according to the police. Police have also been deployed in the well-known tourist hub of Pokhara in western Nepal, police said. Nepal is home to more than 20,000 Tibetan refugees.

Every year some 2,500 Tibetans cross the border on their way to meet their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile. Last year, during the anniversary of the 1959 rebellion against Chinese rule in Tibet, there were three self-immolation incidents in Kathmandu and two dozen people were arrested on suspicion of fanning anti-China activities.

So far, no untoward incidents have occurred, police said. More than 120 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in recent years to protest against what they describe as stifling Chinese control over their religious, cultural and political freedoms. China condemns the acts and blames them on the Dalai Lama, accusing him of pursuing a separatist agenda. 

PTI

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