By Tenzin Dharpo
Diplomats from various Embassies and organisations in Nepal on 83rd birthday celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, 6 July 2018. Photo_OOT Nepal
DHARAMSHALA, July 11: Following intense crackdown on Tibetans celebrating the birthday of the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama over the years by the Nepalese government, Tibetans in Nepal were able to celebrate the 83rd anniversary of their beloved leader last week.
On July 6, Tibetans in the Nepalese capital’s Jawalakhel area engaged in the festivities along with a heavy presence of international diplomats that were stationed in Nepal. The exile Tibetan government based here, known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration said that a contingent of diplomats including US Ambassador Alaina B Teplitz and French Ambassador Yves Carmona as well as a high level representative from the embassy of UK, Germany, Japan and Switzerland were present.
Officials from the UNHCR and EU also attended in the official function which was joined by “hundreds” of Tibetans.
Office of Tibet’s Nepal representative Tsultrim Gyatso said that Nepalese authorities did not ‘deny or accept’ the permission to celebrate the Tibetan leader’s birthday unlike previous years when the permissions for the same were strictly denied. While the official function proceeded without any hiccup, police were posted nearby the Tibetan settlements in Kathmandu who reportedly questioned Tibetans in commotion.
Nepal, home to more than 20,000 Tibetans who either came across the border or were born to settlers, has increasingly found itself sandwiched between UN rights agency monitoring their treatment of refugees and Chinese influence to crack down on Tibetans who are finding it hard to sustain a free and normal existence. The Nepalese government’s treatment of the Tibetan refugees has taken a turn for the worse in the last few years with China pumping in cheap interest loans and relaxed FDR (Foreign Direct Investment) schemes in exchange for its will to be imposed.