By Tenzin Sangmo
His Holiness the Dalai Lama takes part in a Tenshug (long life offering) to him by former CTA officials at Theckchen Choeling, Tsuglakhang July 5, 2019. Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
DHARAMSHALA, July 5: A circular issued today by the Tibetan Representative Office in Kathmandu states that the Nepali Police has issued an order prohibiting the celebration of the 84th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama tomorrow.
The notice says the local Tibetan birthday preparation committee is withdrawing its official function as per the instruction of the Nepali government against marking the day.
The preparation for His Holiness’ birthday celebration is carried out on a rotational basis by three major Tibetan administrative clusters in Kathmandu, Gyal-Phak (Kathmandu & Swayambhu), Jawalakhel and Cho-Jor (Boudha and Jorpatti region).
The Lowa monastery in Kathmandu where the celebration was slated to take place refused to be the venue of the celebration after it received direct official order.
The police, citing specific instruction from Nepal’s home ministry have made it known that anyone found celebrating the day will be arrested and beaten if required.
The local Tibetan leaders in a meeting yesterday have instructed the people to observe the day quietly at home by observing religious practice.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is turning 84 years old on July 6, 2019, and apart from the Tibetan refugee community in Nepal, Sherpas, Tamang, Walung, and Nepalis from Dolpo and Mustang are also known to celebrate His Holiness’ birthday.
Nepal has banned His Holiness’ birthday celebration on and off in the past. It surprisingly allowed Tibetans to mark His Holiness’ 80th birthday in 2015 and in 2018 where representatives from UNCHR, the US, European Union (EU), Japan, Swiss attended the official function.
The Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali is currently in China after Chinese President Xi Jinping wasn’t able to visit Nepal in June as planned.
A reliable source in Kathmandu stated that the deportation of one Penpa Tsering by the Nepal government kowtowing to Chinese pressure may have further contributed to the restriction.
Nepali government had imposed restrictions on its journalists lately against reporting on anything related to Tibet that cast a negative impression on the Chinese government. It has ordered a probe of three journalists of the state-run news agency Rastriya Samachar Samiti (RSS) for publishing news on His Holiness the Dalai Lama in May.
The Chinese government has become one of the biggest investors in the country post the signing of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2017.