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Peaceful protest outside the Chinese Consulate in Kathmandu

August 21, 2008

By Luke Ward
August 20, 2008

Kathmandu, August 19 -- Today at 3pm, bus loads of Tibetans once
again drew up beside the King's Palace, and began to head for the
Chinese Consulate on Hattisar Road. However, as usual, the police had
some prior knowledge of the protest, and turned out in large numbers,
with more police soon arriving. The first protest since last
Thursday's energetic protest, this protest had far fewer numbers,
meaning that the Nepalese police were soon able to was quelled by the
police's shear numbers without much need to resort to the extreme
violence of recent protests. In total, over 240 Tibetan protesters
were arrested, and from what I could see there were no serious
injuries, although there was the odd kick, and a few protesters ended
up on the floor. The Tibetan protesters were as vocal as ever, but
outnumbered, and keen to avoid the scenes of last week, in which
police also turned on journalists, the protest ended after half hour,
with almost all participants arrested. However, the protesters had
once again spread their message to locals and the foreign press
alike- Tibetans in Tibet are suffering whilst the world watches
China's Olympic spectacle.

With a heavy presence of Nepal Peace Brigade and UN Observers,
Nepalese police behaved comparatively far better than they have done
at recent protests, with last Thursday's (14th August) particularly
violent, and with 19 serious injuries. Then, a large number of the
police even seemed to be enjoying themselves. However brutal the
police may be, we must also understand that they are acting under
orders from the Nepalese government, which is becoming increasingly
subservient to their powerful donors, the Chinese government. With
the election of former Maoist rebel Prachanda to the position of
Prime-Minister, and the strong position of the Maoists in the new
Republic's government, it seems likely that Tibetans in Nepal may
come under increasing pressure from Chinese influenced policy.
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