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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

China pressure forces govt crackdown on Tibetans

September 12, 2008

BY KIRAN CHAPAGAIN/KOSH RAJ KOIRALA
Kantipur.com

KATHMANDU, Sept 12 - Growing Chinese pressure on Nepal to curb the 
"anti-China movement" and protracted agitation by "Tibetan refugees" 
in Kathmandu has finally made the government get tough with Tibet 
protesters.

On Thursday, the immigration office handed over 106 protestors to the 
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for verification 
of their refugee status as they had remained silent during police 
interrogation, Home Ministry spokesperson Modaraj Dotel said.

"They will not be allowed to stay in Nepal after the verification. If 
they continue to remain silent even during the verification by UNHRC, 
we will conclude that they are illegal immigrants," Dotel said.

Intelligence sources speak of reliable evidence that many of the 
protesting refugees have come here from Dharmasala, India.

"Tibetan refugees" have been agitating in and around the Chinese 
embassy in Kathmandu since March. They intensified their protests 
ahead of the Beijing Olympics.  Around 400 police have to be deployed 
daily to contain the protests.

The government action against protesting refugees follows a meeting 
between Home Ministry officials and Chinese envoy Zheng Xianglin this 
week. Zheng reportedly complained to the ministry officials that the 
protests have affected work at the embassy besides posing a threat to 
the lives of Chinese officials.

The Home Ministry now plans to "make the illegal immigrants" leave 
Nepal after verification by UNHCR. Besides, they are also mulling 
tougher action against the refugees if the current plan does not work, 
officials told the Post. They, however, declined to give details.

In the meantime, the Home Ministry has received what officials said 
was reliable intelligence that some European and American NGOs are 
supporting the protests by the refugees.

"We are going to take action against them [NGOs] as well," Home 
Ministry sources said on condition of anonymity. He did not name the 
NGOs.

Home Ministry officials, on the basis of intelligence reports, 
concluded that the protests have been coordinated by someone outside 
Nepal.

"We tolerated the protests to date but we will no longer stand for 
it," a senior Home Ministry official said. "Such protests are not 
allowed in India though a large number of refugees have been staying 
there," the official said.

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