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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Letter: Free Nepal

May 16, 2008

By Tenzing Jigme
By Email
May 15, 2008

Broken hands, bruised bodies and black eyes are all anticipated when
Tibetans go to protest here in Nepal. Still these brave men, women
and children continuously put their bodies and lives at risk and have
been protesting the illegal occupation of Tibet by the Chinese
government at various political institutions like the Chinese embassy
and the office of the United Nations in Katmandu. After the Chinese
government blocked media access into Tibet back in March, the Tibet
issue has been even more highlighted by the treatment of the Nepalese
police to these non-violent protestors. Recent statements made by
Chinese officials in Katmandu ask the Nepal police to be even more
aggressive towards the Tibetan protestors.

Nepal police and the government are not new to protests. For the past
12 years there have been ongoing protests and bandhs called on by
various factions, political parties, minority groups in the country
and most of them have been allowed to participate in peaceful
protests. The downfall of monarchy was due to the people of Nepal
protesting against the government. The people of Nepal sacrificed
their lives so that the country could enjoy democracy in its purest
form. The Tibetan people living in Nepal have always supported the
will of the Nepalese people in the country but the very ideal that a
democratic nation stands for i.e. freedom of speech; have been
infringed upon by the Nepalese government. Today even the Nepalese
citizens are shocked at the way the Nepal Police have been using
force and violence against the Tibetans. Most of us that have resided
in Nepal understand why this is happening. It is not because the
Nepalese government hates the Tibetans but it is because the Chinese
government heavily influences them. I understand being dependent on a
neighboring nation for economic and military reasons, but there comes
a time when you have to take back your country on moral and ethical
principles and see what is at stake. There is a proposal of a new
railway line that is going to be built from Nepal straight into
China, which will inevitably bring more Chinese population into the
country. Tibetans know very well the consequences of the railway
line. Today in Tibet, the Han Chinese population completely
outnumbers local Tibetans living there.

If you arrive in Katmandu by plane, as you exit Tribhuvan
international airport there is a huge billboard that greets you:
"WELCOME TO CHINA", I kid you not! Such is the nerve of the Chinese
government that they feel they can do anything they want in Nepal.
Tibetans will keep protesting for a FREE TIBET despite the
consequences, but it will not be long before the people of Nepal will
have to join in with banners that read FREE NEPAL; but by then it
will be too late.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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