By Phuntsok Yangchen
DHARAMSHALA, September 4: As Tibetans in exile celebrated the 54th Tibetan Democracy Day on Tuesday, Nepalese government barred Tibetans from commemorating the day and removed the Tibetan national flag hoisted in monasteries and houses.
Confirming the reports, Passang Chungdak, President of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, Kathmandu, said that Tibetans were not allowed to celebrate the Democracy day and heavy armed forces were deployed in Boudha, Swayambhu and Jawalakhel, major residential areas for Tibetans.
Security at Chinese embassy in Nepal was also beefed up as the authorities were tipped off about a self immolation protest. Moreover, movements of Tibetans were also closely monitored.
Chungdak further noted that Neplease media have defamed the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who they alleged, has sent fifteen Tibetans to carry out self-immolation protest in Kathmandu.
Three Tibetans have set themselves on fire in Nepal where increasing crackdown on Tibetans was seen in the recent years and the cultural and political expression of Tibetans curtailed.
“The condition of Tibetans living in Nepal is really bad. We do not have freedom of expression (peacefully) and political rights. I am afraid that one day the authorities will turn the local people against us to disintegrate the Tibetans.”
A report published by the Human Rights Watch earlier this year said Nepal has imposed increasing restrictions on Tibetan living in the country as a result of pressure from China. “While Nepal continues to offer some protections to Tibetans, it is succumbing to Chinese pressure to limit the flow of Tibetans across the border and imposing restrictions on Tibetans in violation of its legal obligations. China cloaks its demands as security concerns, but they are really just an extension of its repression in Tibet and aimed at making it harder for Tibetans to tell the world of their plight.”
Nepal, home to some 20,000 Tibetans, has accommodated Tibetan exiles for decades but has come under increasing pressure from China, a major donor for the impoverished country, to crack down on the political protests.