Activists hold protest banner outside Chinese Consulate-General in Munich on Tuesday, March 4, 2008, calling for the immediate release of Tsering Dhundup, a Tibetan man arrested and deported from Nepal. (Photo courtesy: Tibet Support Group Munich)
Munich, March 4: Exiled Tibetans and supporters staged a demonstration opposite to the Chinese Consulate-General in Munich to demand immediate release of a Tibetan man arbitrarily arrested and deported from Nepal last month.
The protest organised by the Tibet Initiative in Munich, Germany, demanded immediate release of Tsering Dhundup, who was arrested at the UN funded Tibetan Reception Centre in Kathmandu during a late night raid by 50-60 armed Nepalese police on February 23.
The twenty-seven-year old Tibetan man from Tibet’s Amdo Province was held in a cell by the Nepalese immigration department before being handed back to the Chinese authorities at the Tibet-Nepal border at Tatopani on February 25.
Past experiences show such cases of arbitrary arrest and deportation of Tibetan refugees from Nepal are not new.
In May 2003, Nepal forcefully repatriated 18 Tibetans at a time and handed them over to Chinese authorities in Tibet. The incident drew international headlines and condemnations against Nepal. In August, that year, Nepal said it would not repatriate Tibetans in the future.
A camera hangs out of the window of the Chinese Consulate-General’s building in Munich when the demonstration was taking place opposite the consular building.
Each year, around 2500 to 3500 Tibetans make the dangerous crossing through the Himalayas into exile in Nepal, and from there to India, many of them to seek blessing of the exiled Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama.
Nepal’s weak and unstable political situation gives China undue advantage to carry on its propaganda mechanisms to create unfavourable situation for Tibetan refugees in Nepal and to dilute the issue of Tibet.
The latest excessive show of police force was unprecedented at the Kathmandu center, a place where emergency humanitarian assistance is provided to Tibetan refugees transiting to India after escaping from Tibet.
“Tsering Dhundup was the first Tibetan who has been arrested from here," an official from the Tibetan refugee centre had said on condition of anonymity.
The arrest was apparently linked to allegations by the Chinese authorities that he had been involved in stabbing a Chinese man in Tibet. However, no arrest warrant and convincing evidence were given by the immigration department of Nepal for handing him over to the Chinese officials.
“This case indicates again the growing influence and pressure of China onto Nepal” the Munich’s Tibet Support group noted in its press statement.
The statement says: “China has reached a point to pervert the course of justice not only in Tibet but also abroad. Not only in Nepal, but also in other states like Germany the Chinese government is still increasing their influence against Tibetans as they notify and persecute every movement of them.”
The group said “the evidence was given by their camera out of the consulate’s window” when demonstration was taking place outside.
The activists on Tuesday held a large banner on Tuesday that reads:
• Leave your hands from Tibetans living abroad!
• Freedom for Tsering Dhundup captured by China in Nepal out of an UN camp!
The Tibet Support Group Munich has been working for the last 19 years to help realise freedom, the right to self-determination and the respect of human rights for the Tibetans. The group employs peaceful means, which they say is also for “the benefit of mankind as a whole”.
For more information, contact Tibet Support Group Munich: firstname.lastname@example.org