Sonam Choedon, 42, who was asked to remove her t-shirt during a hunger strike in Kathmandu by Nepalese police, Kathmandu Nepal, April 18, 2011.
Dharamsala, April 20 – The Nepalese police on Monday disrupted a 24-hour hunger strike by Tibetans living in Kathmandu and even asked a Tibetan woman protester to take off a jersey that bore the wordings, 'save Tibet and stop the killing in Tibet', according to the Washington based International Campaign for Tibet. “When she objected, she was told that if she did not comply, all of the Tibetan hunger strikers would be taken to prison,” the ICT said.
Around 30 Tibetans living in Kathmandu were sitting on a hunger strike at the city’s Boudha temple to demonstrate solidarity with the Tibetans under increasing threat of crackdown at Kirti Monastery and Ngaba.
The International Campaign for Tibet said it is concerned by Nepal’s increasing harassment of Tibetans under direct pressure from the Chinese government, which has made public its position that activities regarding by Beijing as "pro-Tibet" must be prohibited in Nepal. “This most recent police action provides another indication that Nepal has agreed to abide by China's dictate,” said ICT.
Nepalese police stayed on duty at the hunger strike until 10 pm on Monday and arrived back at the centre at 6 am on Tuesday. According to eyewitness sources, there was an unusually high number of what were thought to be Nepalese intelligence officials present with the police.
Mary Beth Markey, ICT President, said: "This Nepalese police action against Tibetans was unwarranted, and the tee-shirt incident was shameful, unbefitting a professional police force. The offending officer should offer an apology to Ms. Choedron. Chinese government interference in Nepal's treatment of its Tibetan community should be resisted by the Nepalese government and people as it is in direct opposition to the strong ties among the Himalayan peoples that have existed for centuries."