Banners put up in Boudha following 25-year-old Tibetan monk Drupchen Tsering's self-immolation protest on February 13, 2013 announcing: “No more Free Tibet in our holy land.”
DHARAMSHALA, July 31: In a bid to curb ‘Free Tibet’ and ‘anti-China’ activities around Boudha in Kathmandu, which has a dense Tibetan refugee population, Nepali police have installed a number of hi-tech CCTV cameras in the entire area.
According to Nepali news reports, 35 state-of-the-art CCTV cameras equipped with night-vision capabilities have been installed on strategic locations, including within the premises of the ancient Boudhanath Stupa to keep the area under strict round the clock surveillance.
Describing the Boudha area as “hotspot of Free Tibet movement and anti-China activities,” Nepali police said that 16 cameras will monitor the activities within the premises of the Boudhanath Stupa while 19 cameras will keep a close eye on the stretch between Chabahil Chowk to Jorpati Chowk.
Earlier this year, on February 13, Drupchen Tsering, 25, a Tibetan monk who recently escaped into exile from Tibet, set himself on fire within the Boudhanath stupa premises protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet. He passed away on the same day with 96 percent burns.
Nepali authorities later declared Druptse's body "unclaimed" and secretly cremated the body despite repeated appeals and protests by exile Tibetans to hand over the body.
In recent years Nepal has increasingly clamped down on the cultural and political expression of its Tibetan community numbering over 20,000. The country’s increasing dependence on China for financial aid has meant that the freedom of Tibetan refugees have been curtailed. Also, several Tibetans caught trying to escape Tibet through Nepal have been repatriated in recent years.
In April this year, Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda, former prime minister and Chairman of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) promised China’s President Xi Jinping that Nepal will repress Tibetan refugees living in Nepal who are involved in free Tibet activities during a meeting in Beijing.
Prachanda told Xi that Nepal will “stop any anti-Chinese protests, even by repressing Tibetan refugees in Kathmandu who continue to ask for a free Tibet.”
“The national stability and integrity of both countries will not be compromised in the name of religious freedom and human rights,” he was quoted as saying.
Reiterating Nepal’s “firm adherence to the one-China policy,” Prachanda further told Xi that only a prosperous Nepal will be able to effectively further the policy to help address China’s security concerns over Tibet.