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Nepal to check movement of Tibetans as part of 13-point agreement with China

December 5, 2010

Phayul
Thursday, December 02, 2010

Dharamsala, December 2: In a latest move of its kind, Nepal and China have agreed to step up security in their border areas in a bid to prevent the entry of Tibetans into Nepal “to check frequent anti-Beijing protests” in the country, Nepalese media reports said.

A file photo shows a Tibetan woman being dragged away by Nepalese police after throwing herself in front of a bus of carrying Tibetan deportees to the border with Chinese-occupied Tibet, in Kathmandu, May 31, 2003. In a joint operation by the Chinese and Nepalese authorities, 18 Tibetan refugees who were detained after arriving in Nepal from Tibet were deported, the biggest group to be sent back for several years. (REUTERS/file/Nick Dawson)
A file photo shows a Tibetan woman being dragged away by Nepalese police after throwing herself in front of a bus of carrying Tibetan deportees to the border with Chinese-occupied Tibet, in Kathmandu, May 31, 2003. In a joint operation by the Chinese and Nepalese authorities, 18 Tibetan refugees who were detained after arriving in Nepal from Tibet were deported, the biggest group to be sent back for several years. (REUTERS/file/Nick Dawson)
The decision was reached during a meeting of high-level officials from the two sides held on Sunday in Chautara, 125-km east of the capital Kathmandu near the Tibetan border.

As part of a 13-point agreement reached between the two countries, the two sides agreed to “tighten the entry of Tibetan nationals into Nepal and systematise the distribution of temporary entry cards”.

The agreement was part of a deal to “ease movement of Nepalese nationals in the Tatopani area” bordering Tibet, Hari Krishna Upadhaya, Chief District Administrative Officer of the area told Nepalese media.

Upadhaya led the Nepali delegation while Regional Chief of Nelam Region Hadd-Bin represented the Chinese side.

Nepal is home to around 20,000 exiled Tibetans and the capital has been the scene of several anti-China protests in last few years.

Every year several thousand Tibetans - including monks, nuns and children - escape from Tibet, traveling through treacherous Nepalese terrain to reach India.

Nepal in the past has handed some of the fleeing refugees to Chinese authorities, prompting international condemnation.

Acting under heavy Chinese influence, the Nepalese government has over intensified its security to prevent Tibetan activists from taking part in peaceful demonstrations.

According to media reports from Nepal, China has lately asked Nepal to deploy around 10,000 security personnel along the Sino-Nepal border to guard against fleeing Tibetans and infiltration into Tibet, according to security sources. Beijing has also assured all possible assistance needed to make the arrangements.

Earlier last month, in a bid to check anti-Beijing activities in Nepal, China provided a two-week special training in Beijing to Nepalese police and top administrative officials. Officials from Nepal Police and Armed Police Force (APF) from the areas bordering Tibet took part in the training.

In 2009, for the first time in its history, Nepal announced its decision to tighten Tibet border by deploying armed police along its northern border with Tibet, raising criticism that the move was prompted by pressure from China. Over the months Nepal continued to deploy additional armed force along its border with Tibet.

Nepal, which relies heavily on China for assistance, is under obligation to support ‘one-China policy’ that views Tibet as an integral part of China. It has repeatedly assured the Beijing government that it will not allow its territory to be used against China.

Nepal has traditionally given safe passage to fleeing Tibetan refugees under an informal agreement between the government and the UN refugee agency.

The "Gentlemen's Agreement" between the government of Nepal and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), put in place in 1989, when Nepal stopped giving them refugee status, provides for the safe transit of Tibetan refugees through Nepalese territory and onward to India.
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