By Luke Ward
Kathmandu, August 19 - Today at 3pm, bus loads of Tibetans once again drew up beside the King's Palace, and began to head for the Chinese Consulate on Hattisar Road. However, as usual, the police had some prior knowledge of the protest, and turned out in large numbers, with more police soon arriving. The first protest since last Thursday's energetic protest, this protest had far fewer numbers, meaning that the Nepalese police were soon able to was quelled by the police's shear numbers without much need to resort to the extreme violence of recent protests. In total, over 240 Tibetan protesters were arrested, and from what I could see there were no serious injuries, although there was the odd kick, and a few protesters ended up on the floor. The Tibetan protesters were as vocal as ever, but outnumbered, and keen to avoid the scenes of last week, in which police also turned on journalists, the protest ended after half hour, with almost all participants arrested. However, the protesters had once again spread their message to locals and the foreign press alike- Tibetans in Tibet are suffering whilst the world watches China's Olympic spectacle.
With a heavy presence of Nepal Peace Brigade and UN Observers, Nepalese police behaved comparatively far better than they have done at recent protests, with last Thursday's (14th August) particularly violent, and with 19 serious injuries. Then, a large number of the police even seemed to be enjoying themselves. However brutal the police may be, we must also understand that they are acting under orders from the Nepalese government, which is becoming increasingly subservient to their powerful donors, the Chinese government. With the election of former Maoist rebel Prachanda to the position of Prime-Minister, and the strong position of the Maoists in the new Republic's government, it seems likely that Tibetans in Nepal may come under increasing pressure from Chinese influenced policy.