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Tibetan parliament urges Nepal to return confiscated ballot boxes
Phayul[Tuesday, October 12, 2010 13:58]
By Tenzin Tsering

Dharamsala, October 12: The Tibetan Parliament in Exile has sought the United Nations and the Amnesty International’s intervention in the release of ballot boxes confiscated by Nepalese government on October 3, 2010 when Tibetans all over the world took part in the preliminary polls for the Kalon Tripa and parliamentray elections.

The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile appealed to the United Nations and the Amnesty International to use “official and personal channel” to help release the ballot boxes.

On October 3, around 30 Nepalese policemen in riot gears under the direction of Ministry of Home appeared at least three polling booths in Kathmandu located at Swayambhunath (Tibetan: Phagshing), Boudha (Tib: Choeten) and Kathmandu city circle, and confiscated the ballot boxes.

The appeal letter sent to the international bodies expressed “shock” and “condemnation” of the unprecedented act against democracy.

“In the last 50 years, there has never been a law and order problem created by our community on the days of the elections. More so, we are grateful to our host nations that there never was interruption to prevent us from electing our own representatives and the Kalon Tripa,” said Deputy Speaker of TPiE in the letter.

Nepal is home to some 20,000 Tibetan refugees who crossed into the Himalayan country since the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959. In recent times, Nepal has developed a close friendship with China which ensures consistent flow of aid for the crisis stricken country.

In July, during the bilateral talks between the two, 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-China activities,” said a Nepalese government who attended the meeting.

Nepal says it keeps a resolute “One China Policy” and the elections had “violated Nepal’s foreign policy and existing laws of the host country,” according to Nepalese media reports that quoted a statement from the Home Ministry of Nepal.

Special envoy of the Dalai Lama, Lodi Gyari who met with the US Ambassador to Nepal, Scott DeLisi expressed his concerns about the long historical relationship Nepal and Tibet, and the recent disruption of the democratic exercise of the Tibetans in Nepal.

He also expressed concerns that “Chinese authorities virtually ordering Nepalese officials without any respect to its status as a sovereign nation” is a common knowledge shared by various representatives of the international community in Nepal.

“In a democratic system of governance there is provision for re-election in case of disruption in voting process,” said Jampal Chosang, the Chief of Election Commissioner of the Tibetan Government in Exile, based here.
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