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Nepal steps up security to quell Tibetan protest

March 11, 2010

The Associated Press (AP)
March 9, 2010

Nepal has stepped up security and warned Tibetans
exiles against organizing protests against China
during the anniversary of the failed uprising
that sent the Dalai Lama into exile, officials said Tuesday.

Home Ministry spokesman Jayamukunda Khanal said
security around the Chinese Embassy and its visa
office has been stepped up, with police guarding all roads leading to the area.

Khanal said the local representative of Dalai
Lama, Thinley Gyatso, was taken to the chief
district officer Sunday and warned that no
anti-China protests should take place.

Gyatso was allowed to leave after the meeting with the officials, Khanal said.

Wednesday marks the anniversary of the March 10,
1959, riots inside Tibet against Chinese rule
that led to a crackdown and, later that month,
the Dalai Lama's dramatic flight across the Himalayas and into exile.

Tibetan exiles in Nepal are expected to
demonstrate on the anniversary Wednesday, but
they have not made any public announcements, fearing a police crackdown.

Tibetans in Nepal have been protesting regularly
against China since 2008. Police usually detain
protesters for a few hours and then release them.

Nepal has been under pressure from Western
nations to allow the protests _ and from China to stop them.

Thousands of Tibetan exiles live in Nepal, and
hundreds more are allowed to pass through the
country on their way to Dharmasala, India, where the Dalai Lama lives in exile.

The protests are a source of embarrassment to
Nepal's government, which wants strong ties with
China. Beijing has repeatedly asked Nepal to
better control the Tibetan refugees within its borders and stop the protests.

China claims Tibet has always been part of its
territory, but many Tibetans say the Himalayan
region was virtually independent for centuries
until Chinese troops invaded in the 1950s.
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