Dharamsala, February 6 - Nepali Police yesterday arrested five Tibetans including a woman at the Boudhanath temple area, an area with strong concentration of Tibetan refugees in the Nepali capital Kathmandu.
The exact reason for their arrest is yet unknown. Sources however say the Tibetans were on their way back to Tibet after pilgrimage to India. Several Tibetans had arrived in India last month as the Tibetan leader Dalai Lama gave religious discourse in Bodhgaya.
The Tibetans have been identified as Sonam Tharchen, 35; Lobsang Tashi, 22; Lobsang Tsondru, 27; Rigzin, 24; and Tsering Dolma. The Tibetans are currently held at the Boudhanath police station.
With the Tibetan New Year drawing near, sources say that Nepali police have been carrying out frequent searches in the area.
Following the massive anti-China unrest in Tibet in 2008, China has sent a flurry of high-level official delegations to force Nepal to ensure it effectively curbs "Free-Tibet activities” on its soil. In return China promises to increase assistance to the crisis-ridden country.
Tibetans exiles in Nepal in 2008 staged some of the most dramatic and sustained demonstrations in Kathmandu, targeting the Chinese embassy, its visa office and the United Nations after unrest against Chinese rule in Tibet faced brutal Chinese military crackdown.
To apparently please China, in 2008, the then Nepal's Maoist-led government even threatened deportation of Tibetan exiles staying in the country illegally.
According to statistics, Nepal is home to over 20,000 Tibetans refugees concentrated mainly in the Kathmandu valley and Pokhara in western Nepal.