By Tenzin Tsering
A monk runs as a policeman chases him to hit with a baton during an anti - China protest in Kathmandu in 2008 (Reuters/file photo)
Dharamsala, July 28: China has announced new financial assistance to Nepal to strengthen security agencies in better monitoring and prevention of Tibetan refugees from engaging in "anti-China activities" on its soil, Nepalese media reported.
Bilateral security talks held in Kathmandu on Monday between the two countries saw Nepal’s reception of an 11-member Chinese delegation led by Minister for Public Security Chen Zhimin.
The meeting held at China’s behest covered issues of border security, Tibetan refugees and security collaboration with Nepal’s Home Secretary Dr Govind Prasad Kusum heading the Nepalese side.
China announced to give “US $ 1.47 million (10 million Yuan) every year to the Ministry of Home Affairs to strengthen security apparatus to curb anti-Tibet activities” said a Nepalese government official who participated in the meeting.
This annual aid comes as an addition to China’s regular financial assistance to Nepal and unlike other aids, it will be directly given to Nepal’s Home Ministry to beef up its security activities.
The Chinese side also handed over non-lethal security equipments of logistic support like laptops, searchlights, and metal detectors worth US$ 295,006 to Nepal, according to a statement from the Home Ministry of Nepal.
During the meeting, which concluded on Tuesday, Minister Zhimin called the “anti-China activities taking in Nepal in the name of religion and human rights unacceptable to China” and as posing “grave threats to sovereignty and integrity of China.”
Nepali officials reportedly reassured its counterpart by reiterating its commitment towards “One-China policy”.
Analysts point out that China’s growing interest and ties with Nepal is accompanied by increasing influences and interferences over domestic policies of Nepal.
This is not the first visit of its kind.
Following the "massive" anti-China unrest in Tibet in 2008, China has been sending a flurry of high-level official delegations to Nepal to ensure it effectively curbs "Free-Tibet activities” on its soil. In return China promises to increase assistance to the impoverisehd crisis-ridden country.
Tibetans exiles in Nepal in 2008 staged some of the most dramatic and sustained demonstrations in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, targeting the Chinese embassy, its visa office and the United Nations after unrest against Chinese rule in Tibet faced Chinese military crackdown.
Police looks for suspected Tibetan activists in a public van in Kathmandu March 10, 2010. Tibetans in Kathmandu protested during the 51st anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule. (Reuters/file)
Acting under heavy Chinese influence, the Nepalese government has lately over intensified its security to prevent Tibetan exiles from taking part in peaceful demonstrations.
Those who defied government order were stopped by Nepali police, often using excessive force. The demonstrators regularly faced arrests, intimidation and in some cases individual threats and arbitrary detention.
Nepal last year
announced its decision to tighten Tibet border by deploying armed police for the first time in its history along its northern Mustang-Tibet border.
Nepal’s brutal handling of Tibetan protesters had come under intense international criticism and the government had been accused of cracking down on the refugees under Chinese pressure.
Earlier this month, Nepal banned
Tibetan refugees from celebrating their revered leader the Dalai Lama's 75th birthday, which was was otherwise marked with festivities all over the world by Tibetans and their supporters.
Past estimates suggest between 2,500 and 3,000 Tibetans escape Tibet and enter Nepal each year on their way to Dharamsala, the seat of Tibetan Government-in-Exile in north India. The number has slowed down dramatically
since 2008 after Nepal beefed up security along its border with Tibet.
Nepal is home to about 20,000 exiled Tibetans who began arriving in large numbers in 1959 after their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama fled Tibet following a failed uprising against the Chinese rule.