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Amid threats from Delhi and Kathmandu, the ‘Return March to Tibet’ is back on the road

April 23, 2008

Nirmala Carvalho

More than 250 Tibetans in exile are marching towards the Tibetan border
despite threats by Nepal that it would shoot at anyone who jeopardised
the torch relay in the Himalaya. A Tibetan activist warns Nepal that it
might end up like Tibet.

Dharamsala (AsiaNews) – More than 250 Tibetans are now on their way to
Tibet in the ‘Return March to Tibet’ that should bring them to the
border with China where they plan to cross in order to claim the right
for exiles to go back to their homeland. However, threats by the Nepali
government and the hostility of Indian authorities are making it
increasingly difficult.

Tenzin Choeying, director of Students for a Free Tibet, told AsiaNews
that “despite the repressive attitude of the Indian government, which
prevented us from demonstrating during the Olympic torch relay, we are
happy that thousands of Indians have shown their support, ordinary folks
like ourselves who were not able to have their voice heard.”

As for Nepal where government sources said that anyone demonstrating
during the torch relay in the Himalaya would be shot at, “that’s
shameful,” Tenzin said. “We Tibetans are very close to the Nepalis from
a social and historical point of views. The fact that guns are waved in
front of peaceful demonstrators shows to what point we have come to.”

“Kathmandu should be careful of the concessions it makes to Beijing
because Nepal might suffer the same fate as Tibet,” Tenzin added.

“In any event we shall to continue to protest. We are only asking the
world for our rights, to go home to see the Dalai Lama back in Lhasa.”
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