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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

China prevents Nepal from attending celebrations at Tibetan monastery

February 24, 2010

by Sudeshna Sarkar
February 23, 2010

Kathmandu, Feb. 23 -- Though China failed to
prevent US President Barack Obama from meeting
exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, it has
succeeded in stopping top Nepalese officials from
attending the birth centenary celebrations of a revered Tibetan monk.

Nepal's President Ram Baran Yadav, Foreign
Minister Sujata Koirala, who is also the deputy
prime minister, and Culture Minister Minendra
Rijal have received invitations to attend the
birth centenary celebrations of the monk at a Tibetan monastery in Kathmandu.

However, the officials have distanced themselves
from the Tibetan monastery under pressure from China.

The Tibetan monastery is celebrating the birth
centenary celebrations of Dilgo Khyentse, born in
1910 in Tibet, one of the best known luminaries
of Tibetan Buddhism and a leader of the Nyingma
sect, one of the oldest major schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

Chinese troops reportedly destroyed the monastery
of the sect, the Shechen Monastery in eastern
Tibet, and the monk went into exile in Nepal.

In the 1980s, the exile painstakingly built a new
monastery in Kathmandu's Boudhanath area, the hub
of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal, engaging skilled
craftsmen from Tibet so that the new monastery
was an exact replica of the destroyed one.

Today, there are Shechen monasteries in India and Bhutan as well.

Though the monk died in 1991, his disciples in
1993 hailed as his reincarnation a Tibetan boy
born in Nepal, Khyentse Yangsi, acknowledged as
the monk's reincarnation by the Dalai Lama.

This year, Shechen monasteries worldwide are
celebrating the birth centenary of the monk.

The Chinese embassy in Kathmandu conveyed its
anger over the invitations to Nepal's foreign
ministry Sunday, saying any acceptance would be
regarded as a gross violation of Nepal's avowed
commitment to the "One China" policy, that
regards Tibet and Taiwan to be inalienable and
integral parts of the Chinese republic.

The president's office Monday issued a statement,
saying the president had not consented to be the
chief guest at the monastery celebrations.

It also hinted at action against "such
organisations or persons involved in the dissemination of such false news".

Unable to root out religious and political
activities by Tibetans in Nepal, China has been
stepping up pressure on the government.

Nepal's official media Tuesday said additional
Armed Police Force personnel have been sent to
Mustang, a remote mountainous district in
northern Nepal bordering Tibet, which was once
part of an ancient Tibetan kingdom.

Border patrols have been intensified in the
district to prevent anti-China activities, the report said.

The "anti-China" activities are mostly flights by
Tibetans, including nuns and children, in a bid
to reach Dharamsala in India, the seat of the
exiled Dalai Lama, since they are prevented from
receiving Tibetan religious and other traditional
education in China-controlled Tibet.

In the last fortnight, Nepal police have arrested
more than half a dozen Tibetan fugitives.
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