By Tenzin Choephel
RTWA Kathmandu President Ngawang Sangmo (R) and Vice President Tashi Dolma (L)
Kathmandu, June 19 - Three Tibetan leaders, Kelsang Chung, Director of the Tibetan Reception Center, Ngawang Sangmo and Tashi Dolma, President and Vice President of the Regional Tibetan Women's Association were arrested from their homes at around 8 am this morning by plain clothes police officers.
Drakpa Tenzin, President of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress confirmed the arrest to Phayul and said the three are currently being held at Boudha Police Station. He also said, "I was not at home, my family informed me that around 8 am plain clothes police officers came to my house to arrest me. I also heard they visited the house of Representative of the Dalai Lama in Nepal Trinley Gyatso but he too was not home so we have not been arrested yet".
Another source confirmed that the three have been taken from Bouda Police Station to Hanuman Dhoka Police Station and are currently being detained at the Dilli Bazar Karaghar Prison. The source also said that they have been issued an arrest warrant stating that the Tibetan protests in Nepal (since March 10) have seriously undermined the bilateral relationship between Nepal and China and they will be imprisoned for a period of three months.
However, Tibetans in Nepal have planned to go ahead with a mass protest at the Chinese Consulate in Hattisar, Kathmandu today despite the arrests. Most of the Tibetan businesses and shops are closed to observe a black day due to the arrival of the torch in Tibet. Another Tibetan told Phayul that the preemptive arrests of Tibetan leaders is probably due to announcement of a 'March from Nepal to Tibet' by some Tibetan volunteers openly listing names of participants and collecting donations for the purpose.