By Tendar Tsering
DHARAMSHALA, March 13: The Nepali police arrested six Tibetans on Saturday March 10 outside the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu for carrying out a protest to mark the 53rd anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day.
The arrest took place near the visa section of the Chinese Embassy located in Hattishar. The six were arrested while chanting slogans against the Chinese government and demanding ‘Free Tibet’ according to media reports.
They are currently being detained at the Hanumandokha prison facility in the capital.
Recently, a group of 13 Tibetans, mostly school students were detained for nearly two weeks for carrying out a peaceful protest outside the United Nations offices in Kathmandu.
They were released after depositing a large fine of Nepali rupees 3,51,000/- (27,000 for each individual).
In the build up to the March 10 commemorations, police had beefed up security in Boudha and Jawlakhel in the capital, in fear of protests from Tibetan community.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Tsewang Dolma, the president of the regional chapter of Tibetan Youth Congress said that pre-emptive arrests and large-scale police deployment in the Tibetan community living areas in Kathmandu have now become common and contribute to the climate of constant “fear and insecurity.”
“They don't allow any Tibetan to do anything freely," Tsewang said.
"I don't know what really changed but it's all Chinese influence. It was bad but now it's worse," Tsewang added.
There are about 20,000 Tibetans refugees living in Nepal but in the last two decades, Kathmandu has refrained from issuing refugee cards, which has left an entire generation of Tibetans born or entering Nepal after 1990 with no legal identity.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal expressed concern at the continued prevention of members of the Tibetan community from exercising their "rights to freedom of movement, assembly and association" in a report discussed at the at the ongoing UN Human Rights Council’s 19th Session in Geneva, last week.
The Nepal government, which officially follows the one-China policy has severely clamped down on the basic freedom of the Tibetans, even shutting down their main representative office in the capital.