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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?"

Tibetan exiles protest outside UN office in Kathmandu

June 16, 2008

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA)
June 14, 2008

Kathmandu - More than 200 Tibetan exiles living in Nepal Friday took
part in a demonstration outside the United Nations office as part of
their campaign against recent violence in their homeland. The
refugees, including Tibetan women, monks and nuns, started their
protest march from a refugee centre on the southern outskirts of the
capital Kathmandu and made their way to the UN offices, some two
kilometres away.

The Nepalese police stationed outside the UN office buildings made
only token gestures to stop the Tibetans and there were no arrests.

Many protestors carried white roses symbolising peace and chanted
pro-Tibetan independence slogans.

"Our marchers were able to reach up to the walls of the UN office and
threw the flowers over the walls into the compound," UN refugee
coordination groups said.

"Although Nepalese police tried to stop us from marching towards the
building, they did not use force as in previous instances," the group said.

The march was the latest in a series of protests by the Tibetan
exiles in Nepal which have often been broken up by the Nepalese
police using force.

The UN office, the Chinese embassy and its consular section have been
at the centre of Tibetan protests.

Nepal has more than 20,000 Tibetans concentrated mainly in the
Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara in western Nepal.

The figure does not include Tibetans who arrived in the country after
1990 because the Nepalese government stopped registering them as refugees.

Estimates said about 3,000 Tibetans arrive in Nepal each year
crossing dangerous mountain passes and risking their lives to flee
Chinese rule.

The Nepalese government has repeatedly said it considers Tibet to be
part of China and will not tolerate anti-Chinese activities.

International human rights agencies have criticised Nepal for its
handling of the protests.
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