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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Tibetan exiles in Nepal mark Olympics close with anti-China rally

August 26, 2008

August 24, 2008

KATMANDU, Nepal -- About 2,000 Tibetan exiles, including children,
monks and nuns, joined a protest rally in Katmandu on Sunday, hours
before the closing ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing.

Maroon-robed monks and nuns with shaven heads, some with Tibetan
flags and placards calling for independence, were among the
participants who walked silently for eight kilometers, or five miles
on the outskirts of the Nepali capital.

Also Sunday, in Dharamsala in northern India, home of the Tibetan
spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, hundreds of Tibetan youths marched,
vowing to keep alive their "Free Tibet" campaign even after the Olympics.

Monks and nuns walked alongside ordinary Tibetans, shouting "Free
Tibet" and "We want justice."

In Katmandu, the police kept a strict vigil and snatched some flags,
but they let the march continue from the Boudha suburb to the ancient
monastery of Swyambhu outside the main city.

Exiles called for fact-finding missions from the United Nations and
other organizations to "assess the actual situation in Tibet and let
the world know the truth."

More than 20,000 Tibetans live in Nepal, the second biggest home for
them outside Tibet after India, having fled there after a failed
uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.

Nepal, which considers Tibet part of China, which is an aid donor and
trade partner for Tibet, says the exiles can stay in the impoverished
nation but cannot organize any activities against its influential neighbor.

The refugees have managed to protest, however, and have tried to
storm the Chinese consular office in Katmandu regularly since a
crackdown on anti-China riots in Tibet in March.

About 10,000 refugees have been arrested in the past five months, but
later freed.

Human Rights Watch, based in New York, said last month that the
Nepali authorities were under pressure from Beijing to stop Tibetan
protests, a charge China denied.

Nepal's new Maoist prime minister, Prachanda, also known as Pushpa
Kamal Dahal, was in Beijing to attend the closing of the Olympics,
and was to meet President Hu Jintao of China and other leaders and
discuss Nepal-China relations.
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