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China blocks entry for Nepalese as pro-Tibet protests continue

June 15, 2008

Bureau Report
ZeeZee News (India)
June 14, 2008

Kathmandu, June 14 -- Irked over continuous anti-Chinese protests in
Nepal since the pro-freedom wave for Tibet flared up in March this
year, China finally put its foot down and restricted movement at its
border with a northern Nepal district, leading to food scarcity in the area.

Mustang, depending entirely on Tibet for its food and ration
supplies, has been reeling under a virtual famine since the Chinese
authorities restricted the movement of Nepalese citizens at Chhoser,
the border check point, officials said.

Situated at a high altitude in Himalayas, mustang does not have a
direct road link with Kathmandu. Earlier, locals used to cross the
Tibetan border to get their daily ration and other supplies and it
worked well till last month.

Since last month, China has halted issuing visas to visitors from
Nepal and imposed restrictions on local Nepalese who used to cross
the border for supplies, officials said.

The development comes in the backdrop of almost daily anti-China
protests in Kathmandu since March, enraging the Chinese authorities.

Chinese ambassador Zheng Xialing had recently asked the Nepal
government to severe punishment for Tibetans holding freedom protests in Nepal.

China also seems to be concerned about a possible armed struggle by
supporters of the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama in Nepal.

A local media report had recently claimed that some 500 Nepalis of
Tibetan origin had been recruited from eastern Nepal's remote
Sankhuwasabha area to form a "religious army" loyal to the Dalai Lama.

Meanwhile, Maoist Chairman Prachanda, projected as the future Prime
Minister, said in Kathmandu that the new Maoist-led government would
take strong measures against anti-Chinese activities in Nepal.
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