By Tenzin Choephel
Police stops protestors about 100 meters away from Chinese Embassy (Photo by Lhuboom / Tenzin Choephel)
Kathmandu, March 10 - Over several hundred Tibetans in Kathmandu led by several Tibetan youth staged a rare street demonstration walking from Boudanath Stupa to Bhatbateni and back over a distance of 10 kilometers shouting anti Chinese slogans. This is probably the first Tibetan street demonstration in Kathmandu over a decade. Usually, Nepal Police does not allow Tibetans to go out of the Boudanath Stupa circulation but today Police did not use heavy force and the Tibetan protestors were able to go out of Boudanath circumambulance and on to the street and to the Chinese Embassy in Baluwatar shouting slogans. When protestors reached Bhatbateni Chowk, about 100 meters away from the Chinese Embassy, Nepal Police stopped the protestors going further to the Embassy gate. There were over 100 police personnel deployed but they did not baton charge the protestors who shouted slogans for about 30 minutes and then returned back to Boudanath after police warned that going further would result in arrest.
Kathmandu Street (Photo by Lhuboom / Tenzin Choephel)
Today's protest was not organized by any particular organization but initiated by several Tibetan youth of Kathmandu with their own enthusiasm and love for their homeland Tibet. They were joined by many other Tibetans present at Boudanath. The regular ceremony commemorating the 10th March Tibetan National Uprising Day was held at Samtenling Monastery near Boudanath Stupa in the presence of Tibetan officials, monks, students and general public. Tibetans remembered the day by offering prayer and incense, listening to the 10th March statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama read by Secretary Jigme La, observing 1 minute silence to mourn the death of over 1.2 million Tibetans in Tibet under Chinese oppression, singing the Tibetan National Anthem and the 10th March remembrance song and finally tsampa throwing ceremony.
Protestors coming out of Bouda (Photo by Lhuboom / Tenzin Choephel)
After the official ceremony, a group of young Tibetans started shouting slogans and led the crowd around the Stupa and on to the streets. One of the youth Dorji from Jwalakhel said, "we led this protest with our own enthusiasm. The street demonstration of going to the Chinese Embassy and back was not planned but it happened then and there. Lot of Tibetans came together today for this protest and by the grace of God this demonstration was successful for the first time in Nepal in many years. I hope this sets an example for all Tibetans to join us and do something by yourself. It is an individual activism". Another youth protestor Kelsang said, "this year the police did not stop us like before and everything went well, probably because there are some foreign dignitaries from USA here".
Burning Chinese flag (Photo by Lhuboom / Tenzin Choephel)