By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, MAR 9: Tibetan residents of Nepal have been urged by the Tibetan Welfare Office not to observe the 10th March uprising of 1959, marking 61 years of anniversary, reports Radio Free Asia (RFA). The directive stated that Tibetans must follow the local laws to avoid police crackdown.
“Because the Nepali government tends not to allow Tibetans to observe the March 10 anniversary, we are asking all Tibetans to abide by the laws of the land,” the Welfare Office based in Nepal said in an announcement on Friday. “Instead, Tibetans are encouraged to perform virtuous deeds by performing prayers and religious ceremonies on the anniversary date,” added the Office.
Tulku Ngawang Choedak, settlement officer for the Choejor Tibetan Refugee Settlement in Kathmandu, said that it has been the government’s policy to ban political activities which are offensive to China. Tulku Choedak further noted police presence with high surveillance. “In the run-up to the March 10 anniversary, police are deployed to various Tibetan refugee settlements around the Kathmandu Valley to inspect and keep a watch on their activities. . . Security officials will also call on key figures in the refugee communities to ask about political events that may be planned.”
Nepalese government has a history of violent dealings with mass protests that might spite their neighbouring country China. Nepal has been strengthening its ties with China on economical, political and development projects. Nepal has not only prohibited protests but events including elections in the community and birthday celebrations of the Dalai Lama. Scores of protests over the last few years have witnessed brutal beatings from the police and immediate shutdown of any resistance shown by the Tibetan community in Nepal.