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Nepal Quashes Tibetan 52nd Uprising Commemoration

March 18, 2011

Monday, 14 March 2011 13:37
Carly Selby-James, The Tibet Post International

Dharamshala: Thousands of authorities in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, have used undue force to intimidate and disperse over 3000 members of the Tibetan refugee community in the country as they gathered on March 10 to commemorate 52nd Tibetan National Uprising Day.

The day marked the 52nd anniversary of the brutally supressed peaceful demonstrations against Chinese rule held in Lhasa on March 10, 1959, which left thousands dead and many more injured by communist government forces, who had invaded Tibet ten years earlier.

Thousands of Nepalese police officers decked out in riot gear showed up at Tibetan schools and monasteries at around 3am Thursday to prevent the Tibetan community, and in particular its students, from gathering and showing solidarity with the Tibetan cause. Police interrupted proceedings including a reading of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Uprising Day speech and only withdrew under repeated calls from local human rights monitors.

Video footage posted on Euronews.net and on the UK Telegraph's website clearly shows unarmed Tibetan demonstrators being kicked and beaten by Nepalese officers, with reports claiming at least 20 were injured and 15 detained by authorities.

Mr Jamyang Tenzin, a Tibetan journalist who is currently living in the country told The Tibet Post International that "a great abusive actions including physically harmful beatings taken by Nepal police against a peaceful gathering of over 3000 Tibetan refugees at the Boudha stupa to commemorate the uprising day."

In a statement issued the day before the incident, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists warned Nepal against breaches of its own domestic law and its international obligations, namely "preventive arrests and policing restrictions on demonstrations and freedom of movement that deny the right to legitimate peaceful expression and assembly during anniversaries and festivals marked by the Tibetan community."

Nepal has come under fire recently for its treatment of Tibetan refugees, amid claims that immigration officers have been accepting cash bribes to turn refugees over to Chinese authorities, and the accusation that the Nepalese government has been taking orders from the Communist regime of China.

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